Redx Pharma agrees licensing deal with Pharmascience

For programme that helps immune system recognise and fight cancer

UK Business Secretary Vince Cable (left) with Dr Neil Murray, CEO of Redx Pharma

Redx Pharma, a UK-based early stage drug development company, is to license its promising anti-cancer programme that helps the immune system recognise and fight cancer with Pharmascience of Canada.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The programme is focused on small molecules that inhibit the CSF-1R or cFMS receptor, which plays an important role in the body’s immune response to cancer. It also affects how quickly cancer spreads to other parts of the body, particularly to bones.

The agreement allows Liverpool-based Redx to pursue research and development and commercialisation of the Pharmascience programme in oncology, which is currently at the lead optimisation stage.

Helping the immune system to effectively deal with and target cancer cells is an exciting emerging area of science

Pharmascience’s novel cFMS inhibitors may help prevent the innate immune system from ‘tolerating’ cancer by keeping macrophages, an important type of immune cell, from converting to their pro-inflammatory, but tumour-tolerant state. By inhibiting this key element of cancer’s ability to hide from the immune system, these compounds may help the body’s immune system better recognise and kill cancers.

The compounds may also reduce the ability of metastatic cancer cells from being deposited in the bones of cancer patients.

Dr Neil Murray, Chief Executive of Redx Pharma, said: ‘We’re delighted to have reached this agreement with Pharmascience. Helping the immune system to effectively deal with and target cancer cells is an exciting emerging area of science and the cFMS oncology programme we have licensed has demonstrated the ability to inhibit tumour growth in animal models. By in-licensing this programme we are able both to enter this important emerging area of cancer research and advance our overall stage of development as a company.’

Mathieu Boudreau, Director of Business Development and Strategic Planning at Pharmascience, added: ‘Our discovery research team has identified very promising cFMS inhibitor leads and we strongly believe the Redx research team is well positioned to continue the work we have initiated on this project, while we focus on our BTK inhibitor programme and other emerging research programs and progress AEG40826, our IAP inhibitor, into Phase Ib/II studies.’