Alchemia announces in-licensing of FAK inhibitors from CRT

2014-03-05 00:00:00

Brisbane, Australia – Alchemia Limited (ASX: ACL), a drug discovery and development company, has announced the in-licensing of two early-stage novel anticancer drug candidates from Cancer Research Technology (CRT). The preclinical Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) inhibitors originate from the Australian Cancer Therapeutics CRC (CTx) and will be evaluated by Alchemia in various cancer and cancer stem cell models prior to initiation of formal preclinical and clinical development. The two licenses include fees, milestones and royalty payments. Further terms are not disclosed.

“We are looking forward to evaluating these novel molecules and their effect on the tumour environment and cancer stem cells that are essential for the growth, persistence and reoccurrence of cancer,” said Tracey Brown, Alchemia’s Chief Scientific Officer. “We plan to use our established oncology and cancer stem cell models to evaluate the potential clinical benefits of the drugs in vivo prior to initiating further IND enabling studies.”

FAK is a non-receptor tyrosine kinase which plays an important role in the development and spread of numerous malignancies and has therefore emerged as a promising target in cancer therapy. Inhibition of FAK has the potential to provide numerous therapeutic benefits to cancer patients by disrupting tumour development and metastasis, while overcoming chemo-resistance to a broad variety of currently used cytotoxic drugs. Through these combined therapeutic effects, FAK inhibitors have the potential to treat a range of cancers and may provide a longer lasting clinical response and improved patient outcomes.

“Alchemia is excited about the in-licensing of these two novel compounds as it will enable our Melbourne-based oncology research team to further evaluate and advance these assets,” said Thomas Liquard CEO of Alchemia. "CRT has a stellar reputation for scientific innovation and we are proud that CRT/CTx selected Alchemia to progress these FAK inhibitors.”

“CTx was funded under the Australian CRC Program to bridge the gap between excellent Australian research and the discovery of new drugs based on that research,” said Warwick Tong, Chief Executive Officer of CTx. “We are excited to see the first drug candidates from our novel pipeline move towards the next stage of their development in the hands of one of Australia’s leading innovative biotech companies.”


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Notes to editors

About Alchemia Limited

Alchemia is a drug discovery and development company marketing FDA approved fondaparinux, an injectable antithrombotic in the US, as well as other major markets via partner Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories. The Company is also developing a late stage oncology product pipeline with multiple ongoing trials through its proprietary HyACT drug delivery platform, which targets anti-cancer drugs to solid tumours. Lead asset HA-Irinotecan is in a pivotal Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer. HA-Irinotecan is also in two Phase II investigator-sponsored trials, one of which is in collaboration with Merck Serono combining HA-Irinotecan with Erbitux® (cetuximab). Alchemia is also exploring additional small molecule drug discovery targets via an internal discovery platform VAST, based on the Company’s deep chemistry expertise. The VAST technology is being developed in collaboration with leading academic institutions and is partnered with AstraZeneca AB.

Arixtra® is a trademark of GlaxoSmithKline plc, Erbitux® is a trademark of Merck KGaA.

About Cancer Therapeutics CRC

Cancer Therapeutics CRC (CTx) is a small molecule drug discovery company that is translating innovative cancer biology research into lead and preclinical stage drug candidates. In particular it is targeting novel cancer pathways associated with the tumour microenvironment or growth, and to develop novel treatments for breast, prostate, melanoma, lung and brain cancers. Located in Melbourne, Australia, the Company was founded in January 2007 through a collaboration between a number of Australia's leading research institutions, and commercial organisations and CRT. Further information can be found at

About Cancer Research Technology

Cancer Research Technology (CRT) is a specialist commercialisation and development company, which aims to develop new discoveries in cancer research for the benefit of cancer patients. CRT works closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. CRT facilitates the discovery, development and marketing of new cancer therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics and enabling technologies. CRT is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cancer Research UK, the world's leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Further information about CRT can be found at

About Cancer Research UK

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
  • The charity’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
  • Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1861 or visit Follow us on Twitter and Facebook