Novogen won an Aus$3 million (approximately $2.28 million) grant from the Australian government to lead a collaboration focused on next-generation anti-tropomyosin therapeutics against cancer. Novogen will work with collaborators at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and with contract research organization ICP Firefly. The project is outside the scope of Novogen’s existing preclinical anti-tropomyosin candidate Anisina™ (ATM-350).

The grant has been awarded under the Australian Department of Industry Innovation and Science (DIIS)’s Cooperative Research Centre Project (CRC-P) scheme. Novogen will also commit Aus$1 million (about $0.76 million) over the 3-year project timeline. UNSW will contribute another Aus$300,000 (approximately $228,000).

Sydney-based Novogen is developing a pipeline of anticancer drugs based on its phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K inhibitor) super-benzopyran and anti-tropomysin platforms. Lead PI3K candidate, GDC-0084 was acquired from Genentech in October 2016 for $5 million upfront and is in development against glioblastoma. Phase II trials are projected to start during 2017. Also in October, Novogen acquired Austalian neuro-oncology biotech Glioblast for Aus$2.1 million ($1.59 million) to support the development of GDC-0084. 

Novogen’s lead super-benzopyran candidate Cantrixil™ is in development against ovarian cancer. A Phase I trial with Cantrixil in ovarian cancer patients was started in December 2016. The firm projects filing an IND for its lead anti-tropomyosin candidate Anisina during 2017.