Scottish biotech company Big DNA has relaunched itself as Iceni Pharmaceuticals, focusing on developing repurposed and reformulated cancer therapies.
The company was originally formed in 2008 and zeroed in on using bacterial viruses, or bacteriophages, to deliver vaccines that include genetic code, or DNA, rather than the disease organism.
Iceni’s lead product is Cilcane (cilengitide), which will be repurposed as a treatment for multiple myeloma. The drug has shown promise in preclinical studies when used in combination therapy for breast and other cancers when administered with proteasome inhibitors such as bortezomib, the company said.
“We are excited by the prospect of repurposing cilengitide as a novel combination therapy for the treatment of multiple myeloma and building on its established safety profile to improve the critical outcome and quality of life of patients,” Dr. John March, CEO of Iceni, said in a statement.
The company also announced that Annalisa Jenkins, Dr. Bruno Osterwalder, Dr. Gareth Morgan and Dr. Horst Kessler will join its scientific advisory board.
Iceni, which recently completed a $732,000 private investment round, plans a Phase II safety/efficacy trail of Cilcane next year. The purpose of the study is aimed at relapsed refractory patients who have previously been given one therapy of proteasome inhibitor.