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January 13, 2016

DelMar and MD Anderson to accelerate development of anti-cancer drug VAL-083

DelMar Pharmaceuticals has collaborated with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson) to speed up the clinical development of its VAL-083 anti-cancer drug.

DelMar Pharmaceuticals has collaborated with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson) to speed up the clinical development of its VAL-083 anti-cancer drug.

VAL-083 is a small-molecule chemotherapeutic designed to treat glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and deadly cancer that starts within the brain.

Under the deal, MD Anderson will begin a new Phase II clinical trial with VAL-083 in patients with GBM at first recurrence / progression, prior to Avastin (bevacizumab) exposure.

During the trial, eligible patients will have recurrent GBM characterised by a high expression of MGMT, the DNA repair enzyme implicated in drug-resistance, and poor patient outcomes following current front-line chemotherapy.

" … Our research shows that VAL-083 may offer advantages over currently available chemotherapies in a number of tumour types."

The company noted that MGMT promoter methylation status will be used as a validated biomarker for enrollment and tumours must exhibit an unmethylated MGMT promoter for patients to be eligible for the trial.

DelMar chairman and CEO Jeffrey Bacha said: "The progress we continue to make with our research shows that VAL-083 may offer advantages over currently available chemotherapies in a number of tumour types.

"This collaboration will allow us to leverage world-class clinical and research expertise and a large patient population from MD Anderson as we extend and accelerate our clinical focus to include GBM patients, following first recurrence of their disease.

"We believe that VAL-083’s unique cytotoxic mechanism offers promise for GBM patients across the continuum of care as a potential superior alternative to currently available cytotoxic chemotherapies, especially for patients whose tumours exhibit a high-expression of MGMT."

The deal will see DelMar work with the scientists and clinicians at MD Anderson to accelerate its research in order to transform the treatment of patients whose cancers fail or are unlikely to respond to existing treatments.

In more than 40 clinical trials, VAL-083 showed clinical activity against several cancers including lung, brain, cervical, ovarian tumours and leukemia both as a single-agent and in combination with other treatments.

Currently, VAL-083 is approved in China to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia and lung cancer, while the drug has also secured orphan drug designation in Europe and the US to treat malignant gliomas.

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