The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) today announced $1.5 million in funding over three years for the development of a new drug by Toronto-based Fluorinov Pharma, Inc. The drug, called FV-162, is a highly potent, orally-delivered small molecule proteasome inhibitor with significant advantages over drugs currently used to treat multiple myeloma and some forms of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"Our investment in Fluorinov Pharma Inc. will move FV-162 towards the market by helping it to meet the preclinical requirements of Health Canada and the FDA," said Mr. Frank Stonebanks, Vice-President, Commercialization and Chief Commercial Officer of OICR. "This novel drug is very promising and could improve the quality of life and outcomes of patients with certain blood cancers."
An important target for therapies treating blood cancers such as multiple myeloma is the proteasome, a part of the cell that recycles old proteins. While effective, the current proteasome inhibitor-based treatment is toxic and requires intravenous delivery. Additionally, some cancers develop resistance over time.
FV-162 has the potential to vastly improve the current treatment because it has lower toxicity, can be taken orally and has shown to be effective against drug-resistant cancer cells in the laboratory.
Fluorinov Pharma Inc. developed FV-162 using a unique medicinal chemistry technology in which fluorine atoms are placed into drug candidates to enhance their pharmacokinetic properties and biological activities. FV-162 works by selectively inhibiting the chymotrypsin-like enzymatic activity of the proteasome.