According to a story from PR Newswire, the biopharmaceutical company Soligenix, Inc. recently announced that it has received a patent in the EU for the company’s innate defense regulator drug dusquetide, which is still in development. The therapy is currently being tested as a treatment for oral mucositis, which is a frequent side effect of treatment for head and neck cancer. Soligenix is committed to the development of therapies for rare diseases that have no available therapies.
About Oral Mucositis
Mucositis is a condition in which the mucous membranes of the digestive system become ulcerated and inflamed. It almost always appears as an adverse complication of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Oral mucositis typically results from these treatments for head and neck cancer. It can also be triggered by stem cell transplantation. Symptoms include tissue damage to the mucosa, redness, altered taste perception, ulcers, and pain that can be severe. The pain can be debilitating and affect the patient’s ability to eat, speak, or even open their mouth. Ulcers are also vulnerable to possible infection. Treatment typically involves keeping the mouth rinsed and clean; certain mouthwashes can help relieve pain and reduce the risk of infection. Citrus fruits, very hot foods, and alcohol should be avoided. To learn more about oral mucositis, click here.
Dusquetide functions by modulating the response of the innate immune system to factors such as tissue damage, inflammation, or infection. The therapy has displayed its potential in a Phase 2 clinical trial. In this study, dusquetide was able to reduce the duration of oral mucositis by 67 percent in patients with head and neck cancer who were receiving the most aggressive possible treatment with radiation and chemotherapy. The drug was also able to reduce the number of infections and improve the response rate of the cancer to treatment.
A Phase 3 trial for dusquetide is currently underway enrolling patients in both the US and Europe. SGX942, the therapy in which dusquetide is the active ingredient, had already earned Fast Track designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment of oral mucositis in head and neck cancer patients.