Plexxikon has treated the first patient in a Phase II clinical trial evaluating PLX3397 as a treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

PLX3397 is an oral, selective inhibitor that down-modulates two key cell types, macrophages and mast cells, that are thought to mediate the progression of Hodgkin lymphoma tumours.

The multi-centre, single-arm trial is expected to enrol approximately 30 patients with Hodgkin lymphoma who have relapsed or become refractory to standard therapies.

The trial will evaluate the efficacy of orally administered PLX3397 as measured by overall response rate.

The trial will also assess the duration of response, disease control rate, progression-free survival, response biomarkers and overall safety.

Plexxikon plans to explore the potential efficacy of PLX3397 for other cancers in additional trials to be initiated in 2011.

Future trials will focus on recurrent glioblastoma multiforme, mutated relapsed, acute myelogenous leukaemia and metastatic breast cancer.

Hodgkin lymphoma is a type of cancer originating from specific B-lymphocytes; an estimated 150,000 people in the US are living with the disease.