Pediatric Clinical Trial Set For Promising New Cancer Drug

Apr 18, 2019

A new cancer drug previously reported on by WVXU has been green-lighted for a Phase 1 study on children. BXQ-350 is manufactured by Bexion Pharmaceuticals in Covington and was developed at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, where it will be tested on children with solid tumors, brain tumors and diffuse intrinsic pontine gliomas (DIPG), a type of brain tumor. 

The Phase 1 study with adults showed promising results, with patients tolerating the drug well and reporting no serious side effects. Bexion CEO Ray Takigiku says the medicine seems to have wiped out the brain tumor of the first person to test it.

"It is our goal to develop BXQ-350 as quickly as possible for both adult and pediatric cancer patients, particularly those with difficult to treat tumors including high-grade gliomas and other brain tumors," Takigiku says in a statement. 

'A Cruise Missile To Kill Cancer'

BXQ-350 appears to only attack cancer cells. "This turns on a death pathway into cells," Principal Investigator Dr. John Morris told WVXU's Ann Thompson late last month. "It kills cells. It's then enveloped into a fatty material called DOPS that targets it to specific cancer cells and the blood vessels that grow into cancer cells. It's almost like a cruise missile to kill cancer." 

In addition to testing at Children's, additional sites are planned at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus and several children's hospitals in the western United States.