- Redx Pharma said its lead cancer treatment, the Porcupine inhibitor (RXC004), has a potential role in cancer immunotherapy.

Its scientists have demonstrated that the Porcupine inhibitor could have a crucial role in improving the immune system response of some cancer patients when used in combination with an existing immunotherapy, anti-programmed cell death-1 (anti-PD-1).

Anti-PD-1 therapy activates the immune system to recognise and attack tumours. While treatment with PD-1 inhibitors, also known as Checkpoint inhibitors, is a significant breakthrough in cancer treatment, not all patients respond.

Redx has been testing a combination therapy that uses both the Porcupine inhibitor RXC004 and an anti-PD-1 antibody in a cancer model.

The data demonstrates that the combination therapy significantly improves the ratio of favourable T-cells, which attack tumours, to the immunosuppressive T-cells that allow tumours to grow unrecognised, when compared to only using an anti-PD-1 therapy.

This suggests that a combination therapy could potentially improve patient response rates.

Redx's novel, potent small molecule Porcupine inhibitor has already shown, in disease models, that it has potential as a stand-alone therapy for difficult to treat cancers, such as pancreatic cancer.

As previously reported, first-in-human studies for the Porcupine inhibitor, initially as a stand-alone therapy, are expected to commence early in 2017. In addition, Redx is now evaluating opportunities for combination therapies.

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