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22 Jan 2021 | 12:01

Evgen announces positive preclinical data for SFX-01

(Sharecast News) - Clinical-stage drug development company Evgen Pharma announced preclinical data demonstrating that 'SFX-01' is an inhibitor of SHP2 on Friday. The AIM-traded firm explained that SHP2, or Src homology-2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase-2, is a non-receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase that is associated with breast cancer, leukaemia, lung cancer, liver cancer, gastric cancer, laryngeal cancer, oral cancer and other cancer types.

In-vitro and in-vivo data generated by professor Philip Eaton of the Queen Mary University of London demonstrated that SFX-01 modifies SHP2, inhibiting its phosphatase activity, with that phosphatase implicated in many aspects of cancer.

It said SHP2 was involved in several cancer-related processes, including cancer cell invasion and metastasis, apoptosis, DNA damage, cell proliferation, cell cycle and drug resistance.

SHP2 could therefore be a therapeutic target "of great potential".

Evgen said the "exciting data" provided another pathway through which SFX-01 could be a valuable anti-cancer agent, in addition to its effects on the STAT3 pathway, thought to be the principal mechanism of action in metastatic breast cancer.

Further preclinical work was being conducted in cancer models, with data to be announced in due course.

"SHP2 has been a target of some interest for a while, but to date attempts to develop an inhibitor have had limited success," said chief executive officer Dr Huw Jones.

"We are delighted that the data generated by professor Eaton demonstrates that SFX-01 acts on SHP2 in a novel manner and offers the potential for its use in a number of cancers with great clinical need."

At 1138 GMT, shares in Evgen Pharma were flat at 11.5p.
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