Cancer therapeutics and diagnostics company ValiRx has struck a licensing deal with Cancer Research Technology Ltd, the commercialisation arm of Cancer Research UK, to evaluate a novel prostate cancer compound, coded VAL201, that has been found preclinical tests to arrest the growth of prostate cancer.
ValiRx now has a period of 12 months in which to complete the preclinical regulatory development of VAL201, including toxicology, before exercising its option to acquire exclusive worldwide rights to the compound as an anticancer agent and later progress to clinical trials.
Annual global sales of prostate cancer drugs are estimated to be $3 billion. In the UK alone, 35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year: early detection gives the best chance of survival, yet presently the tumour claims 10,000 lives annually.
ValiRx believes that VAL 201 has the potential to add significant value, provided the compound reaches the remaining preclinical and clinical milestones. Early studies have thus far indicated that this lead drug candidate may also stop tumour growth in patients who fail to respond to current treatments.
Satu Vainikka, CEO of ValiRx, commented: “This agreement further extends our relationship with Cancer Research Technology and expands our portfolio of late pre-clinical compounds. If successful, VAL 201 could offer the potential for novel treatment approaches to prostate cancer treatment where there is currently unmet need.“
Dr Phil L’Huillier, Cancer Research Technology’s director of business management, said: “We are very pleased to enter into an agreement for ValiRx to take forward into preclinical development this promising compound for the potential treatment of men with hormone resistant prostate cancer.”