USC Norris collaborates with Auransa on clinical trial of new targeted treatment for liver cancer and other solid tumors

Dr. Anthony El-Khoueiry at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center will lead the phase 1 clinical trial of the novel drug AU409.

3D Illustration Concept of Human Internal Digestive Organ Liver Anatomy

3D Illustration Concept of Human Internal Digestive Organ Liver Anatomy. (Image: iStock)

The University of Southern California (USC) is collaborating with Auransa Inc., on a phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate a new kind of treatment for cancers of the liver and solid tumors with liver dominant disease. The drug, known as AU409, was developed by Auransa, a clinical stage drug development company focused on identifying novel drug candidates for oncology, inflammatory diseases and diseases of the central nervous system. In preclinical trials, AU409, has been shown to work in a unique fashion by limiting the cancer cell’s ability to translate the message from various genes that are essential for the cancer cell’s ability to survive and multiply. In other words, AU409 interrupts the cancer cell’s machinery, preventing it from using DNA code to produce proteins that it needs to grow.

Liver cancer is estimated to be the third most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounts for about 80% of all liver cancers. Despite major improvements in treatment, patients with advanced HCC continue to have limited median overall survival due to primary or secondary resistance to existing therapies. While chronic hepatitis B and C infections continue to be important risk factors for liver cancer, the rising prevalence of obesity, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and alcohol consumption are becoming the dominant risk factors for liver cancer in the United States as well as the rest of the world. (…Read More)