Whilst key opinion leaders worldwide are following the Pharmaxis (ASX: PXS) story, Professor Fiona Wood has become an integral part of it.
Following the news out of Rochester University that their myelofibrosis drug, PXS-5505, has a potential significant disease modifying role in other cancers comes another key announcement for the company, this time regarding their second hero drug candidate, PXS-6302.
A discovery of the Pharmaxis research team, PXS-6302 is designed to eliminate skin scarring and reduce the incidence of comorbidities that arise alongside scars and works within the same scientific platform as PXS-5505. Both drugs work to inhibit the lysyl oxidase enzymes responsible for fibrosis and scarring, a key disease mechanism in many conditions.
Renowned researcher and leader in the field of skin scarring, Professor Fiona Wood AM is leading the world first clinical trials for Pharmaxis with PXS-6302, formulated into a topical cream. .
Pharmacological approaches to skin scarring are rare, so the prospect of being able to offer a solution for scarless wound healing for scar revisions, keloid scarring and burns scarring is highly attractive.
Completed at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and the Fiona Stanley Hospital, the trial saw the testing of the cream on a total of 10 subjects in varying strengths and durations.
Professor Wood’s trial has now cleared Phase 1, showing topical treatment with PXS-6302 is safe and was well tolerated in healthy volunteers. Results showed full inhibition of the lysyl oxidase enzymes within the skin, with minimal systemic exposure.
The drug will now progress to a long term study of the drug in patients with scars.
With a career long goal of scarless healing, Professor Fiona Wood made her mark with the invention of ‘spray-on skin’, commercialised as the RECELL system by Avita Medical. Now, Professor Wood continues to pioneer innovation in her field and was optimistic following the positive results, saying: “Scars are a constant reminder of trauma with both physical and psychological impact. Our aim is to reduce the scar and reduce the impact.”
Dr. Kylie Sandy-Hodgetts, Senior Research Fellow at the School of Biomedical Sciences, UWA, and principal investigator of the study said: “Based on the encouraging results from the phase 12 study in healthy volunteers, we are now preparing for a study in patients with established scars. We will be investigating the safety of 3 month’s treatment with PXS-6302, and exploring if 3 months’ treatment with PXS-6302, at a dose that we now know will significantly inhibit an enzyme implicated in scar formation, can make a difference to both the appearance and structure of their scars.”
Pharmaxis remains in a strong position to fund further research and trials, with over $18 million in the bank. Sales of Bronchitol, Pharmaxis’ existing approved and commercialised cystic fibrosis drug, combined with government R&D incentives support the cash balance.
Keen to learn more? Watch the below interview by Emerald Financial’s Bronte Moore where she chats with Pharmaxis CEO, Gary Phillips about the Company’s diverse drug pipeline and business operations.
*Owners of this website are PXS shareholders
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