Cancer Research UK and AstraZeneca have launched an adaptive trial looking at the latter’s investigational drug AZD0424 in a range of cancers.

This is the first Phase I trial of the medicine, which works by blocking two proteins called Src and ABL1 and prevents nutrients being delivered to the tumour cells thereby inhibiting their growth, and aims to recruit up to 30 patients across all solid tumour types.

The trial will then later be adapted and separated into three ‘personalised’ study arms that will test AZD0424 in different combinations alongside standard or other experimental treatments and in specific patient populations.

Professor Adrian Harris, Cancer Research UK, who is leading the study at Oxford University, noted that the adaptive study design means “for the first time, we are able to monitor the data we receive in the first phase of the trial and feed this back into the study to adapt it as it’s happening – rather than wait until it ends – which could be several years.”

Last week CRUK and its commercial arm Cancer Research Technology launched another Phase I trial of a drug owned by Astex Pharmaceuticals that acts as a ‘master switch’ to simultaneously block many enzymes that control cancer cell growth and death. The trial of kinase inhibitor AT13148 will enrol up to 40 patients and be conducted at the Institute of Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.