Oncoceutics, a spin-off company of the
Pa. Health Secretary talks about medical marijuana at Hershey Med Center
During an Innovation CafÉ meeting at the
Oster gave an overview of the company, the drug and the company's investors. Phase I of the clinical trials will start in June.
"We want to show first and foremost that the drug is safe and can be given in a dose range that we desire, where we have seen pre-clinical tumor activity," Oster said, noting that Phase II would be to use the drug for specific cancerous tumors.
Oster said the cancer patients who are eligible for the clinical trials are patients who have no other alternative option for treatment. These patients would be referred by physicians.
The drug has been tested in more than 80 tumor models, he said. It has shown to be efficacious in brain cancers, particularly glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive malignant brain tumor, as well as leukemia and lung, breast and colorectal cancers.
Oster said it is difficult to predict how long it could take to bring the drug to market.
"We have to make the decision which tumor type we take into the pivotal phase to be studied for the first market introduction," he said. "If it is a medical need indication, like glioblastoma multiforme, where there is basically no therapy available, it could be a relatively short course. It could as short as three to four years or as long as five to seven years."
The drug can be given intravenously or orally as a pill. Oster said the company is moving forward with the pill compound because it is safer and more convenient for the patient.
The drug is the first from the
"It's important for the patients that we serve," he said. "It means that Penn State Hershey is now able to bring that research to patients in need, and that's the most gratifying."
Marmer said his department has helped the company with the technical aspects of its intellectual property. In 2012, the company received a
"They have gone farther than 95 percent of most research platforms that exist in the world, just to get to this stage, to get to the clinical trials," Marmer said. "We're very proud of the work that Dr. El-Deiry has done. It's a phenomenal accomplishment just to be where they are."
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