Newshub - NUS' News Portal

First locally developed cancer drug well-poised for further testing in human patients

14 March 2011

AT PRESS BRIEFING: CEO of S*BIO Dr Jan-Anders Karlsson (left) with Assoc Prof Goh Boon Cher
SB939, a cancer drug which showed encouraging results in Phase 1 of its human clinical trials, will now be tested in patients with advanced lung cancer. The proof-of-concept trials of SB939 will be conducted by clinicians from the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) and the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore), NUS.

The team had earlier conducted the drug's Phase 1 trial, in conjunction with the compound's developer and owner, local biotechnology company S*BIO Pte Ltd. SB939 was Singapore's first locally developed anti-cancer compound to enter Phase 1 clinical trials.

The primary objective of the Phase 1 study was to assess the safety and tolerability of SB939 and to recommend a dose for Phase 2 trials. The study showed that SB939 was well tolerated by patients with advanced cancer. Some patients in the Phase I trial also showed better than expected tumor growth control with few and minor side effects.

Director, Haematology-Oncology Research Group, NCIS and lead investigator Assoc Prof Goh Boon Cher said: "SB939's high potency, good oral bioavailability and tolerability demonstrate its potential to bring additional therapeutic benefits and when combined with other anti-cancer therapies has the potential to treat the major cancers affecting Singaporeans such as lung cancer."

Added Dr Goh, who is also the leader of the Experimental Therapeutics Programme and Deputy Director at CSI Singapore: "SB939 is significant as it demonstrates how far Singapore has progressed in the field of biotechnology drug research. To be able to develop and test a cancer drug from scratch to its current stage is testament to the capabilities of the research team, and the excellent infrastructure and resources at NCIS, CSI Singapore and S*BIO."