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Covington-Based Firms Announce Big Milestone for Cancer Drug

The First-in-Human Phase IA clinical trial with a cancer drug developed by a Covington-based firm was successfully completed, Bexion Pharmaceuticals and CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services announced.

This phase of drug BXQ-350's progress - which will treat cancer - was a dose escalation, open-label study that included adult patients with advanced solid tumors.

“We are very excited to have successfully completed this First-in-Human, dose escalation trial and look forward to moving BXQ-350 forward into a larger cohort of patients in the very near future,” stated Dr. Ray Takigiku, founder and CEO of Bexion.

The trial was designed to determine the maximum tolerated dose of BXQ-350 and to characterize its safety and pharmacokinetics. BXQ-350 was well tolerated at all five doses with no dose limiting toxicities observed and with no serious adverse events attributed to the therapy. The highest dose tested will be utilized in the upcoming Phase IB trial.

CTI, an expert in rare diseases and in the development of life-changing therapies in critically ill patients, including patients with cancer, has been a part of several dozen First-In-Human trials over the past few years. The company recently moved its global headquarters to Covington's RiverCenter where CTI’s research team works near Bexion’s corporate headquarters on Russell Street.

“CTI is extremely happy to partner with Bexion on the development of this novel therapy in patients who desperately need alternative treatments,” stated William Aronstein, PhD, MD, FACP,  vice president, medical affairs. “They are an innovative organization with very strong regional ties – the drug was initially developed and licensed at a local hospital, early funding has predominantly come from the region, and the management and board have strong local connections.”

-Staff report

Photo: Inside Bexion's Covington offices (RCN file)