COVINGTON, Ky. (Jun 19, 2018) – Sometimes things come full circle. Fourteen years ago, CancerFree KIDS awarded its very first research grant to a young investigator at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) to study a long shot idea that no one else would fund. This year CancerFree KIDS announced it will fund the first pediatric clinical trial for the drug that resulted from that long shot.
Bexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on rare brain tumors, announced today a $50,000 grant awarded by CancerFree KIDS to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Oh. The monies will be used to initiate a Phase I Pediatric Trial in Solid and Rare Tumors using Bexion’s first in class drug, BXQ-350.
The precursor of the clinical formulation of BXQ-350, called SapC-DOPS, was an accidental discovery at CCHMC by a rare disease researcher, Dr. Xiaoyang Qi. Bexion was founded in 2006 when the Company licensed this technology from CCHMC.
“The very first grant CancerFree KIDS ever awarded was to Dr. Qi in 2004, which happened to be Dr. Qi’s very first grant, as well,” explained Ellen Flannery, founder and executive director of CancerFree KIDS. “We have followed this technology and Bexion since that time, waiting for this pivotal moment of the initiation of a Pediatric Phase I trial. It is rare for a pediatric trial to happen so early in the development of a new treatment, but because of CancerFree KIDS’ involvement from the beginning, Bexion has kept its promise to accelerate pediatric trials. This means we have a chance to get this extremely promising potential new treatment approved for children who need it as quickly as possible, for which we are so grateful.”
Bexion is the Sponsor of the trial to be conducted at several sites, with the first site opening at Nationwide Children’s under the direction of Dr. Tim Cripe, division chief of Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant. The second clinical site will be Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center (CCHMC).
“Before Nationwide Children’s, I was conducting research at CCHMC in collaboration with Dr. Qi including early preclinical studies with SapC-DOPS in Pediatric tumors, particularly Neuroblastoma,” stated Dr. Cripe. “To have the opportunity now to initiate Bexion’s first Pediatric Phase I trial in collaboration with my Nationwide Children’s colleagues Drs. Bhuvana Setty and Mohamed AbdelBaki and with the team at CCHMC is extremely rewarding and exciting.”
“In the Phase Ia portion of our Phase I Safety Study, BXQ-350 illustrated a tolerable safety profile with no significant toxicities at the highest planned dose, supporting continued development. Currently in the expansion portion of our Phase 1 study, BXQ-350 has shown promising clinical activity in heavily pre-treated patients with advanced solid and brain tumors,” stated Dr. Ray Takigiku, founder and CEO of Bexion.