Myeloma UK is using its Early Phase Clinical Trial Network to try out a novel combination of two investigational drugs for myeloma in relapsed and/or refractory patients.

MUK three is one of the first studies to be run through the Myeloma UK Early Phase Clinical Trial Network (CTN), which brings together clinical specialists and researchers, the pharmaceutical industry and National Health Service regulatory bodies to conceive, design and manage a portfolio of early-phase trials with novel drugs for the bone-marrow cancer.   

Myeloma UK announced in late 2009 that it would put more than £3 million into the Network over the next five years, with additional investment to be leveraged from existing and future funding opportunities.

The lead investigator for MUK three, which will start with a Phase I dose escalation study at three of the CTN hospitals (The Royal Marsden in London; University College Hospital, London; and the City Hospital in Nottingham), is Dr Faith Davis from the Royal Marsden.

Davis conducted Myeloma UK-funded laboratory research on the combination of CHR-3996 and tosedostat at the UK’s Institute of Cancer Research.

Chroma collaboration

The Phase I trial, and the Phase II (dose expansion) study that will follow in a larger group of patients at all eight CTN hospitals, are a collaboration with the UK’s Chroma Therapeutics.

The Oxford-based drug discovery and development company has taken tosedostat (formerly CHR-2797), a first-in-class oral aminopeptidase inhibitor, into Phase II clinical trials in relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukaemia.

Chroma announced positive efficacy data from the Phase II OPAL study with tosedostat, a first-in-class oral aminopeptidase inhibitor, in December 2011.

The company has also completed a Phase I trial with CHR-3996, an orally active class 1 histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, in relapsed/refractory solid-tumour patients, showing initial signs of efficacy.

Professor Paul Workman, deputy chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research and head of the ICR’s Cancer Research UK Cancer Therapeutics Unit, was a scientific founder of Chroma Therapeutics in 2000.

Commenting on the MUK three trial, Eric Low, chief executive of Myeloma UK said: “Leading the way in the development of innovative new treatments is fundamental to the strategic focus of the Myeloma UK CTN”.