Evgen Pharma and University of Michigan have partnered to evaluate SFX-01, Evgen’s lead asset, on possible anti-tumor effects for colorectal cancer (CRC). The company will be collaborating with University’s Dr. Grace Chen to explore the possible anti-tumor properties of the compound.
Evgen Pharma is a clinical stage drug development pharma company based out of Wilmslow, Cheshire, that focuses on neurological diseases and cancer. It works on the progress of sulforaphane-based remedies to treat cancer.
SFX-01 is a configuration of alpha-cyclodextrin and synthetic sulforaphane that is protected by patent.
Older studies revealed that the compound showed in vitro and in vivo efficiency in different kinds of cancer cells like glioblastoma, breast cancer and certain blood cancers. This partnership will involve both parties assessing the in vivo effects of the compound in different models of colorectal cancer.
Using tumor tissue, normal organoids and malignant organoids from the patient, the impact of SFX-01 on the growth of organoid as well as it’s stemness, inflammatory markers and morphology will be examined. Evgen expects the preliminary findings of the study at year-end 2023.
Dr. Huw Jones, CEO Evgen Pharma, said: “This new project is our fifteenth pre-clinical collaboration to date. Colorectal cancer is a relatively common disease and a cancer type we have not explored extensively. Building on our existing promising data on the mode of action, efficacy and tolerability of our lead asset, we continue to develop our core products to address the widest possible range of indications.”
Evgen Pharma’s main tool is Sulforadex, which is a method to produce and regulate the compound sulforaphane, which is naturally occurring, and its analogues. Sulforaphanes reportedly offer possible benefits in oncology. They are said to lower inflammation and impeding deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) mutation of cancer.
Colorectal cancer is the third most widespread kind of cancer in the world with 1.5-2M annual diagnoses and ranks second in the number of cancer-associated deaths. There has been a steep increase in early-onset colorectal cancer cases in the under-fifty age group recently. Treatment of colorectal cancers could be very difficult and may not lead to a definitive cure, particularly in the advanced stages. This means that there is need to develop better treatment options and chemoprevention strategies.
Dr. Chen said that the data of SFX-01 is promising in a variety of indicators and that the university wants to go deeper to know more about the potential of sulforaphane-synthesizing technology of Evgen’s. She believes it could aid in the development of preventive strategies. Evgen Pharma’s collaboration with Michigan University looks to be fruitful for both parties.
Evgen, in its pursuit to build the data set of efficacy and safety around SFX-01, has a number of partnerships and collaborations with leading academic hubs in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the Asia Pacific. When it comes to non-core areas, the company has signed an out-licensing deal with the functional foods and dietary products division of Juvenescence Ltd., called JuvLife. According to the deal, a naturally-sourced sulforaphane health supplement will be made which will be stabilized using the company’s Sulforadex technology.