Q BioMed Inc. (OTCQB: QBIO), has entered into a final license agreement with OMRF and the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB). Under the agreement, QBioMed has the global exclusive rights to develop and market a novel chemotherapeutic drug to treat liver cancer.
The compound was isolated and characterized from the leaves of Solanum nigrum Linn, or black nightshade, a plant widely used in traditional medicine.
In animal models, the compound, called uttrocide B, was shown to be 10 times more cytotoxic to HepG2 liver cancer cells than the only drug currently on the market for the condition.
“Our ultimate goal is to use uttrocide B as a chemotherapeutic against liver cancer, which has very few therapeutic options,” said Q BioMed, Inc. CEO Denis Corin.
RGCB researchers identified the therapeutic effect of the compound and then entered into a collaboration with OMRF to further develop and commercialize it. In animal models, uttrocide B was shown to be more potent than the currently available drug for the disease and caused no noticeable side effects.
“We are excited at the prospect of developing a drug that could address a significant unmet medical need and benefit patients”, said Dr. M.R.Pillai, Director of RGCB.
Liver cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and claims approximately 750,000 lives each year. The American Cancer Society estimates that 39,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with primary liver cancer in 2017 and that 27,000 will die from the disease this year.
“This is truly an unmet need in liver cancer,” said OMRF Vice President of Technology Ventures Manu Nair. “To find a plant-based treatment for a condition like liver cancer can open the door to a wide variety of other natural products for treating human disease.”