Genelux, Sloan-Kettering test delivery of mesothelioma drug

California-based Genelux is helming a first-in-man trial of its new mesothelioma treatment at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

The center has begun injecting the drug, GL-ONC1, into the cavity surrounding the lungs to treat the rare and aggressive form of cancer called mesothelioma, which can occur as a result of exposure to asbestos. Patients suffering from mesothelioma may experience a buildup of fluid around the lungs, and the dose of GL-ONC1 is designed to temper those symptoms. It marks the first time the drug will be delivered in such a way.

GL-ONC1, according to the company, is both a treatment and a diagnostic--a genetically modified vaccinia virus, it produces a green fluorescent protein that can be tracked within the patient to determine the expression of the disease.

Genelux CEO Aladar Szalay said in a statement that GL-ONC1 has worked against several other types of cancer and has "shown encouraging results" in previous trials. The goal of the current study is to establish a recommended dose for the treatment.

Sloan-Kettering and Genelux are co-sponsoring the trial, now in its second week. The study could involve as many as 54 patients, and a Genelux representative told FierceDrugDelivery that the company hopes to finish within 12 to 18 months.

- here's the release