Novel Therapeutic Shows Remarkable Efficacy in HepG2 Cell Lines

Q BioMed, Inc. and Chemveda Life Sciences announce the successful chemical synthesis of a unique natural compound that has shown remarkable efficacy as a potential chemotherapy for the treatment of liver cancer. This is a significant advancement for Q BioMed’s portfolio asset “Uttroside B” and the compound’s derivatives as a chemotherapeutic agent against, the most common form of liver cancer.

Additional confirmatory cell line efficacy data from current testing is expected to be completed in the next few weeks. The collaboration will advance the Q BioMed portfolio asset “Uttroside B” and its derivatives as a potential chemotherapeutic agent against hepatocellular carcinoma. The efficacy of Uttroside B, a potent saponin, against liver cancer was recently demonstrated in a preclinical study published in the November 2016 issue of Scientific Reports, a Nature journal.

The compound was isolated and characterized from the leaves of Solanum nigrum Linn, a plant widely used in traditional medicines. In the Scientific Reports study, researchers showed that in animal models, Uttroside B was ten times more cytotoxic to the HepG2 liver cancer cell line than sorafenib, the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for liver cancer approved at the time and the current first-line treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma. Sorafenib has been shown to increase survival by less than 3 months and has significant serious side effects, including hypertension, hemorrhage, and cardiovascular events including decreased blood flow to the heart and heart attacks.

Uttroside B drastically shrunk tumors in mice bearing human liver cancer xenografts. In addition, in pre-clinical experiments, Uttroside B induced cytotoxicity in all liver cancer cell lines, and researchers were also able to confirm its biological safety, both by in vitro and in vivo studies.

Denis Corin, Q BioMed CEO said, “Having a synthetic molecule and several derivatives to work with now makes the ultimate production of a clinical drug candidate possible. Along with our collaborators in the project, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and The Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, we will now advance the most promising candidates into preclinical testing and validation over the next few months in anticipation of an orphan drug application and an IND clinical program in early 2020.”

Bheema Paraselli, President & CEO, Chemveda Life Sciences said, “Obtaining Uttroside B, even in milligram quantities, from its natural source is very challenging.  Our Chemveda scientists achieved the first total synthesis of the molecule, which can now be scaled in large quantities for clinical development and ultimate drug product. Uttroside is one of the most complex natural products we have seen and worked on. We are very glad to have achieved this significant scientific milestone and look forward to ensuring its pre-clinical and clinical success in the fight against liver cancer.”  

Chemotherapeutic options for liver cancer are limited, and the prognosis of patients remains challenging. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is the second most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide, claiming approximately 750,000 lives each year. In the US, the American Cancer Society estimates that 42,000 people will be diagnosed with liver cancer in 2019 and that 32,000 will die from the disease this year. Liver cancer incidence has more than tripled since 1980 and deaths in the US have increased 56% since 2003.

The Uttroside B technology is covered by a provisional patent application. To see the full Scientific Reports study, go to: http://www.nature.com/articles/srep36318

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