Wednesday October 10, 2012
by John McCamant, editor The Medical Technology Stock Letter
OncoGenex (OGXI) has announced the initiation of ENSPIRIT, a Phase III trial evaluating custirsen for the treatment of advanced or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients who have progressed after initial chemotherapy treatment has failed.
Custirsen is unique in that it augments anti-cancer treatments by blocking the production of clusterin, a protein linked to faster rates of cancer progression and shorter survival duration.
The trial will investigate if combining custirsen with docetaxel, a standard second-line NSCLC chemotherapy, has the potential to improve survival outcomes compared to docetaxel alone in these patients.
Docetaxel is globally recognized as a standard of care in second-line treatment for both squamous and non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, and the second-line market represents a considerable unmet patient need. Patients will be randomized to receive custirsen plus docetaxel or docetaxel alone.
A single-arm trial in first-line NSCLC evaluating custirsen in combination with a gemcitabine/platinum-based chemotherapy regimen demonstrated a median overall survival of 14.1 months, decreased serum clusterin levels in 95% of patients evaluated and an acceptable safety profile. In this trial, lower serum clusterin levels correlated to longer survival outcomes.
We continue to believe that OGXI is both undervalued and misunderstood. We believe that the company is undervalued as they are currently in three Phase III trials for two different cancers with their lead drug development candidate, custirsen.
We also believe that custirsen is misunderstood, especially in the prostate cancer space. All of the lead drugs in prostate cancer target some component of the androgen receptor, an excellent
target for this type of cancer.
Meanwhile, custirsen has the potential to reverse resistance and could actually work synergistically with most of the androgen receptor drugs.
We urge investors to buy OGXI now before Wall Street discovers this underappreciated cancer company. OGXI is a under $20.
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