iCure BNP said that it plans to apply for a phase 1 trial to change anticancer drugs of oxaliplatin and pemetrexed into oral formulations, to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) next year.
Oxaliplatin is a colorectal cancer injection, and pemetrexed is a lung cancer injection
iCure BNP, a subsidiary of iCure Pharmaceutical, has registered patents for the two new anticancer drug candidates whose patent period will last until 2037.
The Korea Invention Promotion Association evaluated the technical value of patents for the two anticancer drug candidates at a range of between 75.9 billion to 85.6 billion won ($64.9 million to $73.2 million), raising the possibility of their overseas expansion.
If the company succeeds in developing the two drugs, they will become the world's first oral versions of oxaliplatin and pemetrexed. Oxaliplatin, used as a primary treatment for colorectal cancer, metastatic colon cancer, and rectal cancer, is mainly used in combination with target therapy. Sanofi developed the treatment as an injection formulation as it was difficult for patients to absorb the drug orally.
Pemetrexed is highly useful despite its disadvantageous dosage form, and hospitals often use the drug in combination with other anticancer tablets. If iCure BNP succeeds in developing a tablet formulation of the drug, the company expects that the combination prescriptions will likely expand further.
"iCure BNP developed an oral drug delivery technology through IBE-CK, a smart bio-enhancing technology, and IBE-CN, a formulation technology that can improve drug absorption and permeability for drugs that are not easily absorbed and metabolized," iCure BNP CTO Jang Kwan-young said.
Through the platform technology, the company has developed new anticancer drugs by changing the conventional injectable drugs into an oral form, Jang added.