Newly Published Research Indicates the Potential of Phenoxodiol to Protect Against Neuropathy

Monday, August 13, 2007 General News
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SYDNEY, Australia and NEW CANAAN, Conn., Aug. 13 Results of a study published in the current issue of BMC Neuroscience showthat investigational drug phenoxodiol, currently being developed as a therapyfor late-stage, chemo-resistant prostate, ovarian and cervical cancers, mayalso have the potential to be use used in conjunction with cisplatinchemotherapy to prevent induction of platinum-induced neuropathy.

The new study examined whether phenoxodiol could protect againstcisplatin-induced neurite inhibition in PC12 cells as an indication of thepotential to protect against neuropathy. In the study, the effect ofphenoxodiol on cisplatin induced neurite toxicity was assessed by measurementof neurite outgrowth. Study results show the addition of phenoxodiol showed nocytotoxicity at low doses and blocked the cisplatin induced neurite toxicity.

The study concludes that successful prophylactic treatment of cisplatininduced neuropathy with phenoxodiol could allow more intensive and hence moreeffective cisplatin therapy. Overall, given the dose and treatment limitingneuropathic side effects of cisplatin, one of the most widely usedchemotherapeutic drugs, and the lack of any currently available prophylactictreatment or cure, the study also concludes that phenoxodiol is a promisingcandidate that warrants further testing.

"Historical data demonstrates that phenoxodiol has the ability to overcomedrug resistance in cancer cells," said Dr. Ann Turnley, Associate Director,Centre for Neuroscience, University of Melbourne. "This study indicates thatphenoxodiol has the potential to protect normal cells from the toxic effectsof chemotherapy and may help in reducing some of the side effects."

The title of the new research article is Phenoxodiol protects againstCisplatin induced neurite toxicity in a PC-12 cell model -- and may bedownloaded at http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2202/8/61.

Oral phenoxodiol in combination with weekly carboplatin is currently beingstudied in a multi-national Phase III clinical trial called OVATURE. TheOVATURE trial is taking place in the United States, Europe, and Australia andis designed to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of phenoxodiol incombination with weekly carboplatin compared to weekly carboplatin alone forthe treatment of ovarian cancer that has become resistant or refractory toplatinum therapy. More information about the OVATURE trial is available athttp://clinicaltrials.gov/ and type in "OVATURE" in the search option.

About phenoxodiol: Phenoxodiol is being developed as a therapy forlate-stage, chemo-resistant prostate, ovarian and cervical cancers.Phenoxodiol is an investigational drug and, as such, is not commerciallyavailable. It is a novel-acting drug that inhibits key pro-survival signalingpathways operating via sphingosine-1-phosphate and Akt. Inhibition of thesepathways leads to prevention of phosphorylation of key anti-apoptotic proteinssuch as XIAP. Loss of activity of these proteins restores the ability ofchemoresistant tumor cells to undergo apoptosis in response to chemotherapy.The putative molecular target for phenoxodiol is a tumor-specific protein,accounting for the highly selective nature of the drug.

About Marshall Edwards Inc: Marshall Edwards, Inc. (Nasdaq: MSHL) is aspecialist oncology company focused on the clinical development of novelanti-cancer therapeutics. These derive from a flavonoid technology platformwhich has generated a number of novel compounds characterized by broad rangingefficacy against a range of cancer targets with few side effects. The uniquecombination of efficacy and safety has been explained by their ability totarget an enzyme present on the surface of cancer cells, thereby inhibitingthe production of pro-survival proteins within the cell. Marshall Edwards,Inc. has licensed rights from Novogen Limited (Nasdaq: NVGN) to bring threeoncology d


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