Study undermines mechanism-based discovery, says CureLab

Scientist in modern laboratory

CureLab Oncology’s DNA vaccine Elenagen, in combination with chemotherapy, has demonstrated promising clinical results against triple-negative ovarian cancer.

The study shows that disease progression was significantly delayed in a group of stage III and IV platinum-resistant ovarian cancer (PROC) patients who received gemcitabine in combination with Elenagen, compared to the group who received gemcitabine alone.

Dr Alexander Shneider, the primary author of the paper and CureLab’s founder, argues the results prove the deficiencies in mechanism-based drug development.

He said: “After five decades and hundreds of billions spent, relatively few drugs have made it to medical practice using the mechanism-based approach. Gemcitabine is a classic example of one of the pitfalls of mechanism-based drug development. What we consider the mechanism of action today may, tomorrow, turn out to be just one of the mechanisms – and maybe not even the most important one.”

Elenagen delays progression in ovarian cancer

CureLab Oncology, the NN Alexandrov National Cancer Center, and Minsk City Oncology Center treated 20 PROC patients with gemcitabine alone and 20 with gemcitabine plus weekly injections of Elenagen. There were no serious adverse events (SAEs) reported in patients receiving Elenagen.

Gemcitabine alone had an average PFS similar to previously reported durations: 2.7 months. In contrast, 50% of women who received the combination of gemcitabine and Elenagen demonstrated a PFS of 7.2 months.

Importantly, nine out of twenty patients in the Elenagen group remained free of disease progression for the entire duration of observation (the longest scoring 30 months), whereas no patient receiving chemotherapy without Elenagen remained progression-free for even 12 months.

CureLab intends to conduct Phase II/III studies in the USA, testing the same gemcitabine-Elenagen combination on a larger number of patients. The company also plans to carry out additional international collaborations to test whether Elenagen also enhances doxil, paclitaxel, and other PROC treatments.

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