WntResearch has recently been granted a new substance patent in Europe for the company’s drug candidate Foxy-5, for the treatment of colon cancer. The patent relates to a new, more soluble salt of the drug candidate Foxy-5 and extends the patent protection until 2041. BioStock reached out to CEO Pernilla Sandwall to find out more about this milestone.
WntResearch is developing a drug candidate that mimics the endogenous protein WNT5A, which has been shown to affect tumour cell mobility and ability to spread. The drug candidate Foxy-5 has the potential to become a completely new type of drug that can improve survival in cancer without giving rise to serious side effects.
New patent granted in the EU
The European Patent Office recently granted a patent for a new, more soluble, salt form of Foxy-5. The patent extends the intellectual property protection until 2041. This is part of WntResearch’s patent strategy, which aims to strengthen and extend the protection of Foxy-5, its manufacturing process, and medical use. This new form of Foxy-5, named “Stable composition of Foxy-5 hexapeptide with high solubility,” improves the solubility of the drug substance without affecting its stability.
Dennis Henriksen, Chief Technology Officer at WntResearch, expresses great joy over the quickly granted patent. He emphasises that neither he nor the company’s patent lawyers have been involved in getting a patent granted so quickly before.
Comments from the CEO
BioStock contacted CEO Pernilla Sandwall to find out more about the new patent and what it means for the company.
To start with Pernilla, can you tell us more about the new salt form of Foxy-5. Why has this been developed?
– Formulation work is always ongoing during the development of a drug candidate. The goal is to have the dosage form that is intended to be launched on the market in phase III. Since we are investigating the effect of higher doses in our phase II study, we are working to increase solubility in order to be able to dose as optimally as possible.
What advantages does it come with over other options?
– In the long run, we want a formulation of Foxy-5 that is as simple as possible for patients. A higher solubility opens up more opportunities in the future.
This gives Foxy-5 better protection on the European market. What about other markets?
– Corresponding patent applications have been filed in several markets in parallel. The European Patent Office, EPO, was very quick as the application was handled in an accelerated evaluation process. According to our patent experts, it is very unusual for the EPO to choose this process themselves. Our hope is that it will be approved in more important markets in the future.
This was part of your overall patent strategy. Can you tell us a little more about what the overall strategy looks like?
– Strong patent protection is extremely important for a drug candidate to be of interest to potential partners. We are therefore always working to find opportunities to both strengthen and extend the patent protection for Foxy-5.
What’s next for the company?
– During the summer, the Spanish authorities approved WntResearch’s revised study plan for the ongoing phase II study NeoFox and we expect that the first patient will be included shortly. In the first stage, we will test Foxy-5 in higher doses in a smaller patient group, which is possible thanks to the favourable safety profile. This part of the study, to be conducted in Spain, is expected to take about six months and aims to determine the optimal dose of Foxy-5.
– With a set dose, the next step is to evaluate the efficacy of Foxy-5. Currently, we expect to be able to present the final results of the NeoFox study in 2025.The content of BioStock’s news and analyses is independent but the work of BioStock is to a certain degree financed by life science companies. The above article concerns a company from which BioStock has received financing.