DexTech Medical AB was founded in 2004 by Dr Anders R Holmberg, DMSci, and chemistry engineer, CEO and member of the board, and Dr Sten Nilsson, Professor of Oncology and board member.
DexTech develops candidate medications with applications within urological oncology, mainly for prostate cancer. The company has a strong clinical base with valuable specialist competence from research laboratory and production to clinical oncology. Research and development are cost-effectively run through collaboration with a global network.
Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men in the western world. Around 25% of prostate cancer patients develop incurable castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC1) with with skeletal metastasis. There are only a few approved medications on the market at this time able to extend the lifetime of such patients. After a limited period, the patient will develop resistance to the medication given, requiring a new medication to relieve pain and extend lifetime. Consequently, the various medications within this therapy field are more complementary than competitive, as each one can extend life and improve quality of life for the patient. Every one of these medications has – or is expected to achieve – sales of over 1 billion USD p.a. and are referred to as ‘blockbusters’.
Annual growth for medications against prostate cancer is expected to be 10.1% per year up to 2019. If so, the market will grow from USD 4.1 billion in 2012 to 8 billion in 2019. Growth is expected to primarily be driven by an increased rate of occurrence of prostate cancer, arising from longer life expectancy and the launch of new products for treatment2.
Three candidate medications
Using its own patented technology platform, GuaDex, the company has developed three different candidate medications which are patented or the subject of patent application on several key markets. The company’s main candidate, OsteoDex, developed for the treatment of skeletal metastasis in the event of castration-resistant prostate cancer, CRPC, is ready for clinical phase IIb (efficacy study), planned to start in the autumn of 2014 after a successful phase I/IIa study. SomaDex, a candidate medication based on an endogenous hormone, somatostatin, is intended for the treatment of acromegalia, neuroendocrine tumours and palliative treatment of CRPC. DexTech has conducted a clinical phase II/pilot study in Mexico for SomaDex. CatDex is a preclinical candidate medication for instillation therapy of superficial bladder cancer.
DexTech’s primary focus is on continued development of OsteoDex, an active disease-retarding candidate medication against incurable prostate cancer. The potential for OsteoDex is significant, because the need for new, active medications is very large and because this particular product – in contrast to chemotherapy for example – has proven to be very tolerable. The latter aspect is important for the product to be given to CRPC patients who are sensitive to the adverse effects of treatment. Our preclinical studies have also clearly shown that OsteoDex has a lot of potential for treatment of advanced breast cancer with skeletal metastasis. Preclinical results in animals indicated that OsteoDex also has significant activity against tumours in soft parts, despite it being specified for skeletal metastasis.
Our results so far have provoked substantial interest from several major drug companies, some of which have been in contact for information on OsteoDex. This is a strong indication of the potential and value that OsteoDex can be expected to achieve. The value of a licensing agreement after a phase IIb study when the result shows treatment efficacy that influences patient survival is deemed to be high.
1 Castration resistant prostate cancer, CRPC
2 Companies and Markets, “Prostate Cancer Therapeutics Market to 2019”