A Phase-I drug called LOXO-101 showed positive results at reducing the impact of tumors in patients with different types of genetically defined cancer, as demonstrated by a new study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Researchers have analyzed data from patients with a unique type of protein, called tropomyosin receptor kinase fusions (TRKs). They found out that the new treatment was efficacious among them. Results were also presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting in New Orleans.

LOXO-101 is a potent, oral and selective investigational new drug in clinical development for the treatment of patients with cancer. Credit: look for diagnosis

“Tropomyosin receptor kinase fused gene encodes a protein which is a conserved regulator of protein secretion that localizes in the endoplasmic reticulum exit sites and controls the export of materials from the endoplasmic reticulum, playing a role in oncogenesis” explained the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

LOXO-101 is developed by Loxo Oncology Inc. (NASDAQ: LOXO). The biopharmaceutical company is focused on creating drugs for targeted cancer therapies. For instance, the 101 drug works especially on tumors with TRK alterations.

Investors showed interest in the new findings. On Monday, after study results were published, showing effective responses, shares rose to $27.32, representing an increase of 5.41% by 2 PM EDT.

Which is the impact of the study? LOXO-101 is going for a phase-II trial

43 patients participated in the study. Six of them with TRK gene fusions had tumors from different types of cancer, including sarcoma, thyroid, salivary gland, gastrointestinal and non-small cell lung, said the MD Anderson Cancer Center in a press release published Sunday.

Five of them showed “partial responses to LOXO-101” while the sixth patient registered a tumor regression of 17 percent. All patients keep collaborating in the study since researchers are going to conduct a phase-II trial.

David Hong, Doctor of Medicine and associate professor of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics said on Sunday that TRK fusions have been found in nearly every tumor type. As a response, the team wants to make further investigations about the effect of LOXO-101, among patients with TRK fusion cancer.

Findings suggest that LOXO-101 has been tolerated when given in once-daily or twice daily doses. It generated “common side effects” such as fatigue, constipation, and dizziness, said researchers.

A more detailed phase-II trial will only include patients who have tested positive for TRK gene fusions. Professor Hong remarked that it is important to carry out genomic tests in patients since most of the participants of the study with TRK fusion were detected by the same procedure.

Source: MD Anderson Cancer Center