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Midatech’s liver cancer candidate edges closer to human trials as it completes pre-clinical programme

“This is an important milestone in moving our MTD119 compound towards the clinic"
Almost 800,000 people died from advanced hepatocellular carcinoma in 2015

Midatech Pharma Plc (LON:MTPH, NASDAQ:MTP)) is on track to have its MTD119 liver cancer candidate enter into human trials in 2018 after it completed the pre-clinical programme.

The pre-clinical studies demonstrated “potent anti-tumour activity”, with peak reduction in tumour growth more than six-fold compared to the current standard of care, sorafenib, and with improved overall survival.

2018 set to be a big year for Midatech

MTD119 will now enter formal investigational new drug (IND) application enabling studies which should be completed in the first half of 2018, Midatech said today.

Those will be followed by an expected IND submission to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for first in human studies to commence later that year.

IN DEPTH: Full steam ahead at Midatech

“This is an important milestone in moving our MTD119 compound towards the clinic as it represents Midatech's first anti-cancer product using the company's core proprietary GNP technology platform,” said chief executive Jim Phillips.

“We are very encouraged by the results so far and are focused on completing the formal IND safety studies over the next six months and getting the product into first in human studies in 2018.”

MTD119 uses Midatech’s gold nanoparticle technology

As with Midatech’s two other candidates – Q-Octreotide and MTX110 – MTD119 uses the company’s gold nanoparticle technology which allows drugs to be deployed precisely into the body.

It is a targeted therapy treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, which accounts for most liver cancers and is the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide.

Currently, 95% of cases are non-curable and non-operable and median survival is less than one year, with rare and short-lived successful outcomes with existing forms of chemotherapy.

There’s handsome reward for anyone that can find a successful treatment for the disease; sorafenib has projected 2018 annual sales of almost US$1.5bn.

Shares edged higher in early deals to 103.3p.

--Updates for share price--

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