HKSTP Partner Company BCT announced the latest research progress and outcomes of cancer and autoimmune treatments with its innovative drug BCT-100.
Dr. Paul Cheng, MD, BCT’s Co-Founder, said, “Beyond the positive results seen for cancer treatment, BCT-100 has also shown immunosuppressive properties that can be used to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.”
Simon Sze, Associate Director, BioMedical Technology Cluster (Diagnostics), HKSTP, said, “Biomedical technology is one of HKSTP’s key technology clusters. We strive to provide biomedical technology companies at the Park with all-rounded support and services, hence supporting the innovations in the biomedical and various technology industries.”
Hong Kong, 11 February 2019 – Bio-Cancer Treatment International Limited (BCT), a Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) partner company, shared the latest progress of the company’s innovative biological drug, BCT-100, which is aimed at treating cancer. Beyond the positive results seen for cancer treatment, the drug has also shown immunosuppressive properties that can be used to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. These results from BCT marked a milestone for the biotech industry in Hong Kong.
Promising results seen in US and UK clinical trials
BCT-100 was the first Hong Kong-developed innovative drug approved for clinical trials by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). BCT-100 targets arginine auxotrophic cancers, such as acute myeloid leukemia, melanoma, hepatocellular carcinoma and prostate cancer. BCT has already confirmed the PK/PD and safety of BCT-100 in the US clinical study, and the company is now recruiting more cases for the phase I extension to confirm drug efficacy in melanoma. A melanoma patient who took part in the US study has achieved complete remission after receiving the BCT-100 treatment, and still remains cancer-free as of today, almost three years after he first started treatment. The phase I study also saw a substantial number of stable diseases among prostate cancer patients.
Sponsored by Bloodwise, BCT is now recruiting patients for the UK acute myeloid leukemia (AML) trial (LI1), which is expected to be completed by Q4 in 2019. BCT also completed the phase I PARC study in pediatric cancers, sponsored by Cancer Research UK, confirming the PK/PD and safety of BCT-100 in pediatric patients.
Dr. Paul Cheng, MD, BCT’s Co-Founder, said: “For BCT-100 to achieve full compliance with the EU GMP requirements and be approved by UK MHRA for clinical trial is a major milestone for Hong Kong’s biotechnology industry. We are extending the PARC study to Institut Gustave Roussy in Paris, and soon to the Netherlands and Australia.”
Dr. Cheng added, “We are also actively verifying the application of our proprietary biomarker panel, which can help identify other cancer patients who can benefit the most from BCT-100 treatment. If all goes well, the eligible patient population will be expanded by multiple folds. Once the phase I extension study is completed by Q4, we will move on to a multi-center phase IIb/III in the US. We hope this will lead to product registration in the US. While in Hong Kong, we are seeking a listing on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong as a pre-revenue biotech company, and are actively planning on such a public offering in 2020.”
Wider applications of BCT-100 in autoimmune diseases
Besides arginine auxotrophic cancers, the latest research results showed a wider application of BCT-100. Overseas studies from University of Birmingham, Cardiff University and Medical University of Vienna have presented new data that showed that BCT-100 is also effective in treating autoimmune diseases. Specifically, data from Cardiff University and Medial University of Vienna have confirmed the anti-rheumatoid arthritis properties of BCT-100. In March 2018, BCT and Medical University of Vienna were granted the prestigious “Christian Doppler Laboratory Award” to continue their research in rheumatoid arthritis in Vienna and Austria for the next 7 years. In conjunction with Cardiff University, BCT plans to initiate a phase II study of BCT-100 on acute–on-chronic form of relapsing rheumatoid arthritis in the UK this year.
BCT recently hosted the Second Symposium on “Pegylated Recombinant Human Arginase in Human Cancers and Autoimmunity” at Hong Kong Science Park from 31 January to 1 February, where the above-mentioned research and development (R&D) progress were announced.
HKSTP’s support to BCT with all-rounded facilities for over 10 years
BCT joined Hong Kong Science Park in 2007. With its decade-long history in biopharmaceutical R&D, as well as advanced laboratory facilities and support services, BCT successfully developed a drug candidate in active phase II clinical trials, and received support from renowned venture funds.
George Tee, Chief Technology Officer, HKSTP said: “We are delighted to see new progress in BCT’s R&D work. Biomedical technology is one of our fastest growing clusters with 115 partner companies and incubatees based in Hong Kong Science Park. We are committed to contributing to their success by providing comprehensive R&D infrastructure and support services to accelerate translational research and commercialization. We hope to see more advanced biotech companies to join our ecosystem and together we build a better future for the biotech industry in Hong Kong.”
About Bio-Cancer Treatment International Limited
Bio-Cancer Treatment International Limited (BCT) was founded in 2000. BCT is a clinical stage biotechnology company which focuses on research and development of innovative biologics for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease. BCT-100, a pegylated recombinant human arginase 1 (pegArg1), is the company’s main pipeline product targeting for cancer treatment. Currently BCT-100 is under clinical evaluation in arginine auxotrophic cancers, AML, and pediatric cancers in the US and UK.
In addition, BCT is now actively exploring the application of BCT-100 in the treatment of autoimmune disease and verifying the application of its proprietary biomarker panel to identify patients who would benefit the most from BCT-100 treatment. With these new applications, arginine depletion therapy with BCT-100 could be extended for a more wider patient population.
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