The new management team of Redx Pharma Plc (LON:REDX) is focusing its financial resources (ca.£10m) on progressing its lead candidates in oncology and fibrotic disease into the clinic. Although the first patient was treated recently in a Phase I/II proof-of-concept trial with its porcupine inhibitor RXC004, some on-target adverse events (anticipated at higher doses) were observed, which caused management to take the prudent decision to stop patient recruitment. A revised study with a lower dosing regimen is being prepared. Meanwhile, pre-clinical data on the synergy between RXC004 and a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor in cancer was presented at AACR.
Strategy: Redx is focused on the discovery and early clinical development of small molecule therapeutics in oncology and fibrotic disease. It is also focused on taking assets through proof-of-concept clinical trials and then partnering them to the drug major(s) for late-stage development and commercialisation.
New CEO appointed: Redx has announced the appointment of Lisa Anson as CEO, having been President of AstraZeneca (AZN) UK since 2012. She brings considerable industry experience, having held a variety of senior management roles at AZN in the UK and the US. Lisa is also currently President of the ABPI.
AACR Poster: Redx presented a poster at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in Chicago (14-16 April) highlighting the mechanism of action and observations of the porcupine inhibitor RXC004, and its effect in enhancing the immune response.
Clinical update: A decision was made to temporarily suspend the Phase I/IIa trial with RXC004 in light of adverse events in the first patient dosed. Early data suggest a higher exposure and longer half-life in humans that could not have been predicted. A lower dose protocol is expected to be submitted in 2H’18.
Investment summary: Redx Pharma Plc’s new management team is moving forward with a revised business plan that focuses cash resources on progressing its drug leads in oncology and fibrotic disease into early clinical development. The temporary ‘hold’ on the RXC004 clinical trial has extended these cash resources by an estimated four months. While Novartis is paving the way with Wnt inhibition, Redx is a close follower with a potentially best-in-class compound.