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Kazia Therapeutics (KZIA): Collaboration May Expand Utility to Combo Therapies

LONDON, UK / ACCESSWRE / December 19, 2022 / Kazia Therapeutics has announced a research collaboration with QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute (an Australia-based cancer research center) to investigate the utility of its lead asset, paxalisib (PI3K/mTOR inhibitor) in solid tumors. The collaboration plans to build on previously conducted research, including the potential use of paxalisib as an immune modulator in solid tumors. We note that the company recently announced encouraging data in a preclinical melanoma study, highlighting Kazia's growing focus on exploring indications other than brain cancer and brain metastases, following the recent setback in the GBM AGILE study where paxalisib was unsuccessful in graduation to stage 2 of the Phase III trial.

The preclinical collaboration with QIMR Berghofer is led by Professor Sudha Rao and is focused on assessing the effectiveness of PI3K inhibition as a potential immune modulator of the tumor microenvironment. If confirmed, it could pave the way for usage of paxalisib as a combination treatment with checkpoint inhibitors such as Keytruda (pembrolizumab, Merck) and Opdivo (nivolumab, Bristol Myers Squibb) in solid tumors such a breast and lung cancers. Results from the research are expected to be published in H1 CY23 with the possibility of progressing to the clinic in CY23, provided the preclinical data is encouraging. Initial in-vitro findings are encouraging, with paxalisib demonstrating inhibition of both the primary tumor and metastasis by boosting the immune response within the tumor microenvironment. We see this collaboration as a step towards exploring the applicability of paxalisib in other (ie non-central nervous system) cancer indications, a departure from the company's traditional focus on brain cancers (both primary and secondary).

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