RNS Number : 5134F
10 March 2020
10 March 2020
("Physiomics") or (the "Company")
NIHR i4i award
Physiomics plc (AIM: PYC), the oncology consultancy using
mathematical models and its Virtual Tumour(TM) technology to
support the development of cancer treatment regimens and
personalised medicine solutions, is pleased to announce that it has
been awarded a "Connect" award by the National Institute for Health
Research ("NIHR") Invention for Innovation ("i4i") programme in
respect of the Company's continued development of its tool for use
in personalised treatment of cancer.
The title of the award project is "Further development of and
evidence generation for a precision dosing tool for optimising
chemotherapy dosing in advanced prostate cancer (NIHR201282)". The
award, which is funded by the UK Department of Health & Social
Care, will provide 100% reimbursement of project costs of up to
GBP150,000, over an anticipated 12-month period, starting in April
2020, with no matched funding required from Physiomics.
The project will build on the Company's successful work to date
in developing its personalised oncology tool, that has been funded
mainly through Innovate UK grants in 2017 and 2018. In particular,
the 2018 Innovate UK grant enabled the Company to develop a
demonstrator version of a decision support tool to help clinicians
treating late-stage prostate cancer to optimise the dosing of
docetaxel, a commonly used chemotherapy.
Personalised treatment of prostate cancer - progress to date
Prostate cancer represents around 13% of all new cancers, with
around 50,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the UK and 170,000
in the USA. Of these, 20-30% of patients present with late stage
metastatic disease, where 5-year survival is below 30%. In these
patients, docetaxel is commonly used as a first line chemotherapy.
Variations between individuals in blood levels of the drug have
been observed within a 2-3-fold range for the same administered
dose level(1) , potentially leading to a significant number of
patients being either under or over-dosed. Exposure-controlled
dosing, relying on pharmacokinetic or proxy biomarker measurements,
has been shown to significantly improve patient survival(2) and
toxicity(3) in chemotherapy. However, such precision-dosing
techniques typically require costly additional tests, which
restrict their use in clinical practice in the UK, although they
may be becoming more prevalent in the USA.
Supported by previous grant funding, Physiomics has developed,
and demonstrated to leading clinicians, a prototype precision
dosing tool for docetaxel in prostate cancer, which aims to
significantly improve patient outcomes at a low cost compared with
novel pharmaceuticals, without disrupting the current clinical
treatment pathway. The tool incorporates information that is
already available to clinicians as part of current clinical
practice in the UK, supplemented by additional blood tests that are
relatively cheap and universally available. It is intended that the
tool will provide guidance to the clinician as to the likely level
of toxicity, and potentially efficacy, associated with the current
actual and possible alternative doses of docetaxel.
The NIHR i4i award
The i4i award funding will enable the Company to undertake an
observational trial that will be run by the Portsmouth Technology
Trials Unit ("PTTU"), which is a collaboration between Portsmouth
Hospitals NHS Trust and the University of Portsmouth, specialising
in clinical trials in new healthcare technologies. The trial will
not directly involve the use of the tool itself, but will focus on
collecting key patient data that will enable Physiomics to further
explore and validate the value of the tool, as well as begin to
build a case for possible future regulatory approval of the
The award funding will also be used to better understand the
intellectual property, trademark and copyright landscape relating
to software of this nature, and to fund Physiomics' time spent in
analysing the trial data.
Looking ahead - Personalised Medicine
The Company continues to assess the opportunities for further
grant funding and, while there is no guarantee of further funding
from the i4i programme, the Company notes that i4i Connect awards
aim to help SMEs get to a point where they can apply for further
funding, in particular for an i4i Product Development Award.
As we highlighted in our annual report for the year ending 30
Jun 2019, we have also been in discussions with a number of
companies in the personalised oncology space regarding potential
collaboration. These discussions remain at an early stage and we
will keep shareholders updated on any developments, as and when
Physiomics will also continue to explore the possibility of
seeking regulatory approval of its tool as a medical device in
Europe and beyond, as well as consider other cancer types and drugs
where the tool may be applicable.
Dr Jim Millen, CEO of Physiomics, said: "We're very pleased to
have been selected for this important award, especially in light of
the level of competition. According to public i4i committee
minutes, it received 126 first round applications, of which 11 have
been selected for funding after a robust scrutiny from a
multidisciplinary committee, including members of the public .
We believe this award provides further evidence of the broad
support that our focus on personalisation of cancer treatment
appears to be generating and we look forward to continuing to move
the technology forwards, to the point where it can be used to
support real-world decision making."
(1) McLeod, H.L et al, 1998. Evaluation of the linearity of
docetaxel pharmacokinetics. Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology,
(2) Fang, Luo, et al. Pharmacokinetically guided algorithm of
5-fluorouracil dosing, a reliable strategy of precision
chemotherapy for solid tumors: a meta-analysis. Scientific reports
6 (2016): 25913.
(3) Hénin, Emilie, et al. Revisiting dosing regimen using PK/PD
modeling: the MODEL1 phase I/II trial of docetaxel plus epirubicin
in metastatic breast cancer patients. Breast cancer research and
treatment 156.2 (2016): 331-341.
The information contained within this announcement is deemed to
constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse
Regulations (EU) No. 596/2014.
Dr Jim Millen, CEO
+44 (0)1865 784 980
Strand Hanson Ltd (NOMAD)
Richard Tulloch & James Dance
+44 (0)20 7409 3494
Hybridan LLP (Broker)
Claire Louise Noyce
+44 (0)20 3764 2341
Notes to Editor
Physiomics(R) is an oncology consultancy which uses mathematical
PKPD models as well as its proprietary Virtual Tumour(TM)
technology to predict the effects of cancer drugs and treatments
and improve the success rate of drug discovery and development
projects. The predictive capability of Virtual Tumour has been
confirmed by 55 projects, involving over 25 targets and 60 drugs,
and has worked with clients such as Merck KGaA, Merck & Co,
Bayer and Lilly.
Based in Oxford UK, the Company works with clients worldwide to
support their pre-clinical and clinical oncology development
programs. Its team of scientists and computer modelling experts
provide bespoke solutions encompassing data, analytics and
Physiomics senior management has academic and commercial
expertise, including over 90 years collectively of working in
oncology and/or computational biology and over 100 publications in
peer reviewed journals.
For more information please visit:
About The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)
The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) is funded by
the Department of Health to improve the health and wealth of the
nation through research. The NIHR is the research arm of the NHS.
Since its establishment in April 2006, the NIHR has transformed
research in the NHS. It has increased the volume of applied health
research for the benefit of patients and the public, driven faster
translation of basic science discoveries into tangible benefits for
patients and the economy, and developed and supported the people
who conduct and contribute to applied health research. The NIHR
plays a key role in the Government's strategy for economic growth,
attracting investment by the life-sciences industries through its
world-class infrastructure for health research. Together, the NIHR
people, programmes, centres of excellence and systems represent the
most integrated health research system in the world. For further
information, visit the NIHR website ( www.nihr.ac.uk ).
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 10, 2020 03:00 ET (07:00 GMT)