First-in-Human 'Nanomedicine' Drug Showing Promise in Solid Cancers

January 08, 2018
Bexion_BXQ-350

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James) is one of four cancer centers involved in testing a new “nanomedicine” agent – known as BXQ-350 while in testing – in advanced solid tumors, including difficult-to-treat malignant brain tumors. 

BXQ-350 combines a protein called Saposin C, which is naturally expressed in humans, with nanobubbles of a fat molecule called DOPS. This combination creates a treatment agent that has the ability to selectively target cancerous tumor cells and then kill them, largely sparing the surrounding healthy tissues. These fat nanoparticles can also penetrate the blood brain barrier, which researchers say makes them particularly useful against malignant brain tumors. 

“BXQ-350 is the first agent in this class of drugs and has unique properties not seen in conventional cancer treatments. It is made of natural substances present in humans. Lab experiments have shown the agent has the ability to target cancer cells specifically and eliminate them,” says Vinay Puduvalli, MD, director of neuro-oncology at the OSUCCC – James. “I believe that this research can potentially open new doors to the treatment of malignant brain tumors and other advanced cancers”

Recently reported clinical results from the phase I dose-escalation study show that the agent is well tolerated by patients; no dose-limiting toxicities have been observed, and no serious adverse events have been attributed to the therapy. The trial is accruing additional patients through an expanded phase IB trial, which is expected to enroll about 40 patients nationwide.

Patients with malignant brain tumors and advanced solid cancerous tumors who have not responded to other therapies may qualify for this therapy. BXQ-350 is available as part of a clinical trial underway only at the OSUCCC – James, University of New Mexico Cancer Center, University of Cincinnati Barrett Center and University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center.

The trial is sponsored by Bexion Pharmaceuticals. Puduvalli has no financial interests in Bexion Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of BXQ-350.

To learn more about clinical trials at the OSUCCC – James, visit cancer.osu.edu/clinicaltrials or call 1-800-293-5066.

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About the OSUCCC – James
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of 49 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only a few centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs. As the cancer program’s 308-bed adult patient-care component, The James is one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report and has achieved Magnet ® designation, the highest honor an organization can receive for quality patient care and professional nursing practice. With 21 floors and more than 1.1 million square feet, The James is a transformational facility that fosters collaboration and integration of cancer research and clinical cancer care. For more information, visit cancer.osu.edu.

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