OncoGenex, a biopharmaceutical company, has begun dosing in Phase I clinical trials to evaluate OGX-427, a new treatment for patients with solid tumours.

The first patient dosing in the open-label, dose-escalation, Phase I clinical trial will evaluate OGX-427 when administered directly into the bladder in patients with bladder cancer.

The company will eventually evaluate OGX-427 for the systemic treatment of other solid tumours including prostate, non-small cell lung, breast and ovarian.

OncoGenex president and CEO Scott Cormack said: “this is an attractive trial design as removal of bladder tumour samples after treatment allows us to demonstrate inhibition of Hsp27 expression at the cellular level in the tumour”.

OGX-427 is a second-generation antisense drug that is designed to reduce production of Heat Shock Protein 27 (Hsp27), a cell-survival protein that inhibits apoptotic cell death through multiple pathways.

The study, which will enroll up to 36 patients with bladder cancer, is designed to determine the safety and potential benefit of OGX-427 when administered directly into the bladder using a catheter.

In addition, the study will measure the direct effect of OGX-427 on expression of Hsp27 in bladder tumour cells.