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Chief Scientist approves NIS 5.9m Biocancell pancreatic cancer trial

Aug. 11, 2011
Source: Globes

The Office of the Chief Scientist has approved a NIS 5.9 million budget for Biocancell Therapeutics Ltd. (TASE:BICL) for a Phase IIb clinical trial (multicenter efficacy trial) of the company's BC-819 drug for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

The Office of the Chief Scientist has already approved seven grants for the development of BC-819 for the treatment of bladder, prostate pancreatic. The Chief Scientist will provide a grant of up to NIS 2.2 million for the pancreatic cancer trial, in addition to its previous grants as well as grants from Israel-United States Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD-F).

Biocancell has obtained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for a clinical trial of BC-819 in conjunction with chemotherapy drug Gemzar for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. The trial protocols call for 100 patients at 30 medical centers in the US, Europe, and Israel.

The Phase I/IIa safety and efficacy trial of BC-819 for the treatment of pancreatic cancer were successful, meeting the trial's primary endpoints, and with no side effects. Half the patients who received a high dosage showed a partial response, with no tumors, and two patients with inoperable cancer became operable. One patient underwent a successful operation.

Biocancell's share price fell 7.6% by mid-afternoon to NIS 1.40, giving a market cap of NIS 37 million. 

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