Onxeo, a developer of orphan oncology drugs, is partnering with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) as part of a discovery-stage program focused on derivatives of belinostat, a histone deacetylase inhibitor.
Belinostat has a long history of use in psychiatry and neurology as a mood stabilizer and antiepileptic, but is getting more attention as a possible treatment for certain cancers as well as parasitic and inflammatory diseases.
The collaboration between Onxeo, based in Paris, and the RCSI is part of an effort to optimize the pharmacokinetic profile of belinostat to extend its lifetime, efficacy and stability, the company said. If successful, the two hope they can conjugate molecules derived from belinostat and with distinctive features that could result in new patent opportunities.
“This will enable us to strengthen our portfolio while capitalizing on the experience already acquired with this product,” Judith Greciet, Onxeo CEO, said in a statement. She added that results of the research are expected sometime in 2017.
Earlier this month, Onxeo received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office relating to a key patent for its signal interfering DNA product candidate, AsiDNA. The patent is expected to significantly strengthen the company’s AsiDNA intellectual property portfolio by protecting several conjugated nucleic acid molecules as well as AsiDNA’s pharmaceutical composition and related methods for treating cancer.