Clinuvel Provides Treatment to Xeroderma Pigmentosum Patients

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Clinuvel Provides Treatment to Xeroderma Pigmentosum Patients

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Clinuvel Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX:CUV), announces that SCENESSE has been dosed to the first patient afflicted with Xeroderma Pigmentosum (XP), as part of the company’s DNA repair program. The business is trialling the drug for use in treating DNA damage and regenerations, using XP as a benchmark test for further use cases in the future. With significant DNA damage as a result of Ultra Violet (UV) radiation, the drug may have promising potential moving forward.

XP is a condition which severely impacts those afflicted with the condition, in that they must avoid all UV damage. Clinuvel hopes that SCENESSE may position itself as a treatment for the condition. As it relates to the first time use, the company announces they have administered the drug to a patient with XP. The efficacy of the drug will be monitored over a six week period, thereafter two further studies are to be conducted relating to the DNA repair program. These will involve six XP patients and ten healthy volunteers. The company will analyse and evaluate the efficacy of the drug thereafter, hoping that it may prove valuable in treating DNA damage from UV radiation.

Currently, SCENESSE is the standard treatment provided to those suffering from Erythropoietic Protoporphyria in Europe and the United States. However, given that those suffering from XP have high mortality rates, the safety of SCENESSE will be evaluated during the 6 weeks. The clinical observation period will no doubt be of great assistance in determining the long-term viability of the drug and may facilitate further success if shown to reduce the risk of skin cancers. Indeed, XP patients are at a 10,000 and 2,000 fold risk to develop non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers, respectively. Thus, if the drug was to display efficacy, it would no doubt benefit Clinuvel’s ability to gain market share beyond patients with XP.

Clinuvel Clinical Operations Manager, Dr Pilar Bilbao, comments on the program, outlining the positive prospectus for SCENESSE in treating XP as well as broader conditions to prevent skin cancers.  Relating to the progression of the program, Clinuvel opened a research and development facility in Singapore to expedite the advancement of SCENESSE.

In addition to this, the company’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Dennis Wright, states that the use of SCENESSE in treating DNA damage from UV exposure is highly promising for those at greater risk, as well as for others. Moreover, Dr Wright emphasises the desire for Clinuvel to be the first company to make the connection between afamelanotide, the active component of SCENESSE, and the reduction of skin cancer risk. This not only would be of great benefit to Clinuvel as a business but also for all at risk of skin cancer and those with DNA damage.

Caroline Wong

Caroline Wong is a Research Analyst at KOSEC – Kodari Securities. She writes on markets and focuses on ASX Top 300 companies. Email Caroline at c.wong@kosec.com.au.

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