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VentiRx Pharmaceuticals' Novel TLR8 Agonist, VTX-2337, Successfully Completes Phase 1 Clinical Trial in Oncology




SAN DIEGO and SEATTLE, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- VentiRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel Toll-Like Receptor 8 (TLR8) candidates for the treatment of cancer, respiratory and inflammatory diseases, announced today the successful completion of a Phase 1 clinical study for VTX-2337, its novel TLR8 agonist for oncology at the International Society for Biological Therapy of Cancer (ISBTC). In a poster entitled "First-in-Man Phase I Clinical Trial of VTX-2337—A Selective Toll-Like Receptor 8 (TLR8) Agonist—In Oncology Patients," VTX-2337 was proven to be safe and well tolerated with a predictable pharmacokinetic profile in 33 patients. In addition, VTX-2337 showed dose-dependent pharmacologic activity.

Additionally, George Coukos, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Chief of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and Director of the Ovarian Cancer Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center presented preclinical data combining VTX-2337 with Doxil chemotherapy in a poster also at ISBTC entitled "TLR8 Agonist and Doxil chemotherapy potently activate human antitumor immune response in a human immune system mouse model." The preclinical results indicate the combination of VTX-2337 and Doxil elicits potent immune responses in an ovarian cancer model and that further clinical testing is warranted. VentiRx plans to initiate a Phase 1b/2a trial in the near future.

"As a physician focusing on ways to enhance the immune system's response to cancers, particularly ovarian cancer, the data seen in both preclinical and clinical studies of VTX-2337 is encouraging and warrants further testing of this novel molecule," said Dr. Coukos.  

"We know from our Phase 1 study that VTX-2337 is well tolerated and biologically active, which is important as we embark on our Phase 1b/2a study," said Robert Hershberg, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer at VentiRx. "When used in conjunction with chemotherapy, compounds like VTX-2337 have the potential to change the way we've traditionally approached difficult-to-treat cancers."

VTX-2337 is expected to be used in combination with standard of care for the treatment of patients with cancer. Preclinical evaluation of VTX-2337 suggested that it may play a key role in augmenting the innate arm of the immune system and provide a valuable addition to various treatment regimens in oncology.

About VentiRx Pharmaceuticals

VentiRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company committed to the development and commercialization of novel medicines for the treatment of cancer, respiratory and inflammatory diseases. The Company's initial focus is on developing small molecule TLR-based product candidates for oncology and allergy. VentiRx is a privately held organization with operations in San Diego and Seattle. For additional information, please visit

SOURCE VentiRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

CONTACT: Michael Kamdar of VentiRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-858-436-1531,

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Posted: October 2010