Pharmaxis Ltd (ASX:PXS) CEO Gary Phillips has addressed the 2019 AusBiotech Conference in Melbourne, outlining the company’s promising pipeline in what was billed the “hot area” of anti-fibrotic drug development.
The CEO detailed the steps Pharmaxis has taken to develop a best in class status for its LOXL2 inhibitors; strong pre‐clinical data recently published for its pan‐LOX inhibitor PXS‐5505 in the debilitating bone marrow cancer myelofibrosis; and highlighted the company’s unique proprietary assays that, for the first time, allow the concentration and activity of LOX enzyme family to be measured in serum and tissue, even at very low levels.
Link between LOXL2 inhibition in diseased organs
Gary Phillips said: “Over the course of this year, we have used our proprietary assays to reanalyse samples from existing studies and conduct new pre‐clinical studies that have clearly shown the link between LOXL2 inhibition in diseased organs, a reduction in collagen crosslinking which is a hallmark of fibrosis and clinical effect as measured by the area of fibrosis.
“This data has enhanced the partnering process by underlining the relevance of LOXL2 and the superiority of our compounds.
“We are currently pursuing a number of different partnering options to enable this drug to commence phase 2 efficacy studies in patients with IPF or NASH.”
Pharmaxis also has two separate programs for inhibitors that block all enzymes in the LOX family (LOX, LOXL1‐4). The company is progressing the phase 1b study of LOX inhibitor PXS‐5505 which started earlier this month.
The company has supported a number of academic centres of excellence with supplies of drugs from these programs to use in pre‐clinical studies.
Phillips said: “We have been very encouraged by the feedback we have received from both academic and clinical thought leaders about the use of the Pharmaxis LOX inhibitor PXS‐5505 in patients with primary myelofibrosis as an adjunct to existing standard of care and as a monotherapy.
“A recent academic paper concluded that based on their multiple studies, the Pharmaxis compounds appear to be promising new candidates for the treatment of fibrosis in primary myelofibrosis.
“We are pressing ahead with plans to complete the phase 1b study that started earlier this month, engage with the FDA and commence patient studies in H2 2020.”