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NIH Awards Grant for Research on Apexian's APX3330 as Treatment for Cancer Cachexia

Researchers will continue to explore the impact of Apexian’s target molecule, APX3330, on cancer cachexia with additional grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Cancer Institute(NCI). Cancer cachexia is weight loss with chronic inflammation and defective metabolism, which causes roughly one third of all cancer deaths. It is particularly prevalent in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), which has a dismal five-year survival rate.

Dr. Mark R. Kelley, Apexian Chief Scientific Officer and the Betty and Earl Herr Professor of Pediatric Oncology Research at the Indiana University Simon Cancer Center; Dr. Melissa Fishel, Research Associate Professor, Wells Center for Pediatric Research; and Dr. Teresa Zimmers, Associate Professor of Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine, have been working to define mechanisms of cachexia stemming from treatment in PDAC, as well as for identifying mechanism-driven, targeted anti-cachexia therapies.

“The goal of this research is to determine the anti-cachexia potential of Ref-1 inhibition, HIF-1a inhibition, or the combination in mouse models of PDAC,” said Dr. Kelley. “APX3330 has proven effective at inhibiting Ref-1, and has been safe and well tolerated when taken by patients with advanced cancers in our Phase 1 clinical study.”

Previous studies support Ref-1 as a target in PDAC, on-target effects of APX3330, and the use of APX3330 as a clinical agent in cancer. This study will focus on demonstrating improvement in fat/muscle mass and PDAC cachexia symptoms using APX3330. Positive results from this study would lead to immediate clinical trials using APX3330 to prevent or reverse PDAC cachexia.

“Dr. Kelley’s research on APX3330 as a Ref-1 inhibitor continues to offer promise as a treatment for cancer and cancer-related issues like cachexia and cancer chemotherapy-induced neuropathy,” said Steve Carchedi, CEO of Apexian Pharmaceuticals. “As we complete our Phase I trial, we continue to aggressively pursue additional therapeutic uses for APX3330 and build on our pipeline of novel, first in class molecules.”

The NIH grant of $227,554 pushes Kelley’s grant budget for research on Ref-1 inhibitors to nearly $700,000 just in 2018.

About Apexian Pharmaceuticals

Apexian Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on safe and effective therapies for solid-state cancerous tumors. Please visit for more information.

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Last Updated: 29-Oct-2018