Silence Therapeutics this week announced that a collaborator is planning a phase Ib trial of the company's siRNA-based cancer drug Atu027 in combination with the chemotherapeutic agents cisplatin, 5-FU, and cetuximab for head and neck cancer.
The trial, which will be run by the University of Birmingham, is expected to enroll up to 18 patients in order to examine the safety and tolerability of Atu027 in combination with existing cancer treatments.
The study will help establish a safe dose and define any dose limiting toxicities, a maximum tolerated dose, and recommended dose for a phase II trial," Hisham Mehanna, director of the institute of head and neck studies at the university and principal investigator of the trial, said in a statement. "Additionally, we will seek to develop assays to measure effects of Atu027 on PKN3 and other markers in endothelial cells."
Atu027 is a blunt-ended siRNA that is formulated with the company’s proprietary AtuPlex lipid-based delivery technology and targets the protein kinase PKN-3, which is associated with cellular morphology and locomotion in endothelial and cancer cells.
Silence recently moved the agent into the second portion of phase Ib/IIa trial in combination with gemcitabine for locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer.