Cambridge, UK – Acacia Pharma, a pharmaceutical company specialising in the development of supportive care drugs, has initiated its first clinical trial, a Phase I study of its lead product candidate APD 405. Acacia is one of the few companies focused on supportive care, especially in patients with cancer. APD 405 is being developed for the prevention and treatment of nausea & vomiting, which remains a common problem after surgery and after treatment with many cancer chemotherapy drugs.
The clinical trial is a single ascending dose study of the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of APD 405 in healthy volunteers. The trial will be exploring a range of six doses of APD 405 with six volunteers being enrolled at each dose level, one of whom will be randomised to receive a placebo.
APD 405 is an innovative intravenous formulation of a drug that is already widely available in tablet form. Acacia has identified a new use for this drug, the prophylaxis and treatment of nausea & vomiting. The active ingredient within APD 405 hits two proven, complementary anti-emetic pathways. Acacia believes that this multifactorial approach could be of particular value in more difficult-to-treat patients, who often need more than one anti-emetic agent after surgery, or after highly emetogenic chemotherapy.
Dr Julian Gilbert, Acacia Pharma’s CEO said,
“There remains a significant unmet need in both post-operative nausea & vomiting (PONV) and chemotherapy-induced nausea & vomiting (CINV). There is a particular need for improved control of nausea and to treat opiate-induced sickness. We are confident that APD 405 can help meet these needs, based on its exciting, multiple modes of action thereby providing an important development for physicians and patients.
“Acacia is addressing the supportive care market using a discovery and development approach that generates product opportunities with a higher probability of success. These opportunities are based on known drugs and can be taken to clinical proof-of-concept rapidly and inexpensively. We are therefore delighted to have initiated this study only eight months after nominating APD 405 for development, validating our model.”
About Acacia Pharma
Acacia Pharma is a pharmaceutical company focused on supportive care, particularly cancer supportive care which is a rapidly developing commercial opportunity. The growth in the cancer supportive care market has been driven by the increasing incidence of cancer, the expansion of effective cancer therapies and the desire to improve both the effectiveness of treatment and the quality of life of cancer patients.
Acacia Pharma has generated a pipeline of product opportunities addressing a number of supportive care indications using a commercially driven approach to product discovery, based on known drugs. This strategy leads to product opportunities with a higher probability of success and enables rapid clinical proof-of concept. The Company’s lead product APD 405 for the prophylaxis of nausea & vomiting, is in Phase I clinical development. Acacia is also working on products for additional supportive care indications such as cancer cachexia, cancer fatigue and xerostomia. Acacia’s products are expected to reach the market quickly given that they are based on the novel use of well-characterised pharmaceuticals.
Acacia Pharma is led by an experienced management team who have already successfully built and exited a number of life sciences companies. Management and Gilde Healthcare are the Company’s key shareholders. Acacia Pharma is based in Cambridge, UK.