Cancer therapeutics firm Evgen won a £225,000 grant from the U.K. government-backed Technology Strategy Board’s Smart program, and separately raised another £446,000 through investments by existing shareholders and the Sarum Oncology Fund. The firm will use the funds to progress its lead product Sulforadex® into initial clinical trials later this year, and conduct further biomarker validation studies for future clinical development.

Sulforadex is initially being developed to help the progression of early-stage prostate cancer in patients with indolent disease who elect for active surveillance rather than initial surgery. Evgen says the potential market for this indication could be worth over $1 billion per annum.

Evgen’s Suforadex is a stabilized, orally available synthetic version of sulforaphane, a bioactive isothiocyanate derived from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli. The candidate represents Evgen’s primary development program. Although initially in development for the indolent prostate cancer indication, the firm says sulforaphane may also have utility as adjunctive therapy against more aggressive cancers, and has been linked with other potential therapeutic areas including delaying age-related macular degeneration, reversing diabetic heart damage, and reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease.

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