South Korean biotech company JBKLAB Co. said that it is developing an innovative nature-derived oncology drug that could kill tumors without serious side effects with an aim to start clinical trials in cancer patients next year.
Existing cancer drugs destroy normal cells in the process of combating tumor cells, damaging the patient`s immunity, possibly leading to faster spread of cancer cells in case of recurrence, Jang Bong-keun, CEO of JBKLAB told Maeil Business Newspaper on Wednesday.
As a solution, his company dedicated to natural source-based functional materials for nutrition and medical applications is developing an anthocyanin-fucoidan nanocomplex (AFNC).
The new candidate is a biosynthetic blend of anthocyanins commonly extracted from aronia and fucoidans from brown seaweeds. The nanosized anthocyanin-fucoidan complex with enhanced gut absorption and chemical stability is known to have 13-fold more anticancer activity than single extracted materials.
Jang Bong-keun, CEO of JBKLAB
“Repeated administration of the AFNC along with existing anticancer drugs can significantly lower the risk of recurrence while maintaining immune function, and it can strongly inhibit cancer incidence and progression, and kill even cancer stem cells that were not addressed by existing anticancer drugs,” Jang said. On top of that, the nanocomplex drug extends survival of end-stage cancer patients by six months versus only three months with existing anticancer drugs, he added.
Test results were positive in four-year preclinical data. The AFNC was administered twice a week for 22 weeks in mice with skin cancer, liver cancer, and colorectal cancer. As a result, 96% of skin cancer, 80% of liver cancer, and more than 60% of colon cancer cells died. These results were recently published in the peer-reviewed literature, World Journal of Pharmacy.
Jang said his company will initiate a phase 1/2 clinical trial of the drug next year, saying patients will be able to safely intake it at least four times a week.
By Kim Si-gyun and Minu Kim
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