Eating broccoli daily or even on occasions depends on an effort but making it easy, scientists have developed a new pill from broccoli that can be a game changer in fighting cancer, both in terms of reducing the chance of it striking, or slowing its growth and spread.
Pharma major Evgen CEO Stephen Franklin said their new drug made with Sulforadex technology opens up the potential of sulforaphane for the first time through its patented, stabilised version which will be marketed either in a tablet form or as a capsule.
Evgen said the company also plans to float bid on the stock exchange to raise funding to conduct studies with 50 breast cancer patients at the Christie Hospital in Manchester, 90 brain haemorrhage patients in Southampton, and some prostate cancer patients in the US.
Sulforaphane is present in the brassica family, which includes brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage but prominent in broccoli. Evgen’s Sulforadex technology is a patented synthetic and stabilised version of the naturally occurring compound sulforaphane in broccoli. Sulforaphane is of botanical origin and a precursor molecule glucoraphanin is found in certain green vegetables and it converts into sulforaphane in the human body.
Evgen announced last December that Sulforadex was successfully completed in Phase I clinical development. “The completion of the multiple-ascending dose (MAD) trial in healthy human volunteers follows the successful single-ascending dose trial that completed last year.” The trials have established the dosing limits and have delivered excellent oral pharmacokinetics with no unexpected or serious adverse effects, he added.
Evgen Pharma is now preparing to initiate a number of patient trials in the UK and US. These include clinical trials in breast cancer, prostate cancer, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and Subarachnoid Haemorrhage (SAH). Sulforadex has also recently produced compelling preclinical efficacy data in animal models for osteoarthritis and COPD.
Whilst the market, and current drug pipeline, for advanced prostate cancer is extremely competitive, Evgen is initially targeting patients diagnosed with early-stage “indolent” prostate cancer that elect active surveillance. There are currently no approved drugs for this large population of men representing approximately 30% of all diagnoses. In the breast cancer field, Sulforadex® has recently been demonstrated by Evgen Pharma to be a potent agent against breast cancer stem cells derived from patients.
Cancer stem cells are believed to be a major factor behind the recurrence of many cancers and are thus targets of major interest to large biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Commenting on the completion of the Phase I clinical development, Evgen CEO Franklin said: “It is a strong testament to our business model, and the experience of the team, that we have completed Phase I development so efficiently.”