It is no accident that human beings are living longer, and enjoying longer respites from diseases such as cancer, “the emperor of all maladies”. The latest developments on the fight against the disease came from Exicure, Inc. (NASDAQ:XCUR), with headquarters in both Chicago and Cambridge, Mass.
Exicure, branding itself “the pioneer in gene regulatory and immunotherapeutic drugs utilizing spherical nucleic acid (SNA™) technology”, announced Wednesday an update from its Phase 1b/2 trial with AST-008 in patients with solid tumors. AST-008 is being looked over in combination with other drugs aimed at fighting solid tumors.
According to CEO David Giljohann,“We’re very pleased with the preliminary data generated so far in our ongoing Phase 1b/2 trial and we look forward to enrolling patients in the Phase 2 portion of the trial.
“Based on these results, we are considering adding additional cohorts to the trial in other cancers where AST-008 may have benefit,” concluded Dr. Giljohann.
The tests were meant to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of AST-008 alone and in combination with pembrolizumab, and to produce a recommended Phase 2 dose. In all, 14 patients have been enrolled and dosed with AST-008. No treatment-related serious adverse events or dose-limiting toxicities have been observed. The fifth and final dose escalation cohort is now open and enrolling.
Shares in XCUR gained 21 cents, or 7.1%, to $3.20, early Wednesday afternoon on volume of 317,000 shares.