During this National Pet Cancer Awareness Month, biotech company PharmAust is putting the call out for canines to help evaluate a new anti-cancer drug shown to be safe and effective in preliminary trials. The compassionate use program is a prelude to a multi-institutional canine cancer trial to start next year.
Leading veterinary cancer specialist Dr Angela Frimberger and her team at Veterinary Oncology Consultants are evaluating a drug called monepantel (MMPL) in dogs that have been newly diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma and have not started any treatment.
MPL is already approved for veterinary use for a different indication and species. PharmAust is aiming to repurpose MPL as safe and effective canine cancer treatment.
“Four dogs have already been treated for lymphoma and the results have been very promising,” Dr Frimberger said. “So far, we have shown that MPL is safe, and three out of three dogs with B-cell lymphoma have had stabilisation of disease on the drug without significant side effects!”
PharmAust is inviting more dogs with lymphoma to complete the last phase of the program.
“PharmAust’s long-term strategy is to develop MPL to treat cancers in both dogs and humans,” PharmAust CEO Richard Hopkins said. “A ‘Phase I’ trial in human cancer patients at the Royal Adelaide Hospital showed that cancer markers in patients are significantly suppressed. Treatments that work effectively in canines are recognised as being highly predictive of the way drugs behave in human clinical trials. Trials undertaken using MPL in dogs will inform and accelerate parallel efforts to develop MPL as a human cancer therapy.”