Quay Pharma awarded Eurostars funding for oncology project

Joins a consortium that will work with Hercules Pharmaceuticals to develop a new therapy for breast cancer

Quay’s expertise in formulation and its experience in working with external companies in the development process were viewed suitable for the pre-formulation studies for the project

UK-based pharmaceutical outsourcing firm Quay Pharma is working on a new therapy for solid tumours, for example, breast cancer, as part of the EU-funded Eurostars scheme.

The Eurostars scheme supports international innovative projects led by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) research and development companies throughout Europe. It brings together firms with varying expertise from different countries to combine and share their knowledge and experience in the development of new products, working beyond national borders.

In an English-Finnish-Danish-French consortium Hercules Pharmaceuticals in the Netherlands has received a €3.5m Eurostars grant for the development of a novel treatment based on modulation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor, which is involved in cellular processes crucial to cancer development and metastasis. As part of the development process, two compounds will be taken through pre-clinical trials, and then be developed further for first in man studies.

Quay’s expertise in formulation and its experience in working with external companies in the development process were deemed suitable for the pre-formulation studies for the project.

The company will work on determining the physiochemical properties of the two compounds and their formulation for in vivo administration (ip and oral gavage). A key focus will be on Quay’s expertise in formulation to achieve good drug bio-availability for both molecules during the pre-clinical phase.

In addition to Hercules and Quay, a Finnish partner has been selected for the development of in vivo efficacy models, a French partner for metabolic profiling and efficacy models and a Danish partner for preclinical safety studies and in vivo efficacy. Quay’s contribution is fundamental to enabling these studies to be carried out.

It is anticipated that the treatment will be ready to progress to clinical trials in the next two to three years.

Quay says its selection for the project underlines its experience in the development of products for oncology treatment.

More than 100 companies were initially considered before the top 30 underwent in-depth screening with only ten finally selected to receive funding for projects.

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