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Faron Pharma boss “excited” to begin first in-human trial of Clevegen later this year

A clinical trial application for the potential cancer treatment is on track to be filed in the current quarter, and that will be followed by patient recruitment towards the end of the year
immunotherapy graphic
Clevegen is one of a new generation of drugs that helps to weaken a tumour’s ability to suppress the human immune system

Faron Pharmaceuticals Ltd (LON:FARN) boss Markku Jalkanen has told investors he is “excited” to kick off the first in-human trial of his firm’s Clevegen cancer candidate later this year.

Clevegen is one of a new generation of drugs that helps to weaken a tumour’s ability to suppress the human immune system.

READ: Faron welcomes latest Clever-1 data

The technology focuses on Clever-1, a surface cell receptor involved in cancer growth and spread. The changes anti-Clever-1 antibodies such as Clevegen induce allow immune cells to attack and kill cancer cells.

“We have continued to make good progress with our Clevegen programme and are very excited to start the first human clinical trial later this year,” said Markku Jalkanen.

“Our focus for the remainder of 2018 will be to continue to rapidly progress Clevegen through the clinic whilst also continuing to preserve cash in order to deliver value to shareholders.”

The focus on oncology followed disappointing Phase III top-line data from its lead drug, Traumakine for the condition called acute respiratory distress.

READ: Here's how Clevegen works 

Faron is still analysing the full dataset from that trial, while further data from separate studies are due over the coming months.

“Whilst we were disappointed with the results from the INTEREST study, we have made, and are continuing to make, efforts to fully understand the data in order to define the next steps in the Company's strategy for Traumakine,” added Jalkanen.

“The company will closely collaborate with the clinical community to complete this analysis and plan to provide full analysis of these findings in October.”

Plenty of cash

AIM-listed Faron had €11.2mln in the bank at the end of June (H1 17: €10.3mln), having raised just shy of €16mln in February.

It recorded an operating loss of €14.0mln for the opening six months of 2018 (H1 17: €6.8mln), although it has put in place a plan to help it reduce its cash burn going forward.

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