(By Balaseshan S) Marshall Edwards Inc. (NASDAQ:MSHL), a development-stage oncology company, said it received a new patent for its lead drug candidate ME-143 for use in treating cancer.
The key U.S. patent for ME-143 follows on the heels of a related patent for ME-344 as well as a composition patent for both compounds, solidifying the intellectual property position surrounding the company's two lead oncology drug candidates.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued Patent No. 8,163,795, which is expected to provide protection until September 2025, covering the company's lead drug candidate ME-143.
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The company also said it has received notices of allowance from the Japanese Patent Office for two patents that cover the ME-143 and ME-344 compositions of matter, respectively, and their use in treating cancer.
The company's lead drug candidates, ME-143 and ME-344, have been shown in laboratory studies to interact with specific enzyme targets resulting in inhibition of tumor cell metabolism, a function critical for cancer cell survival.
Marshall Edwards initiated a Phase 1 clinical trial of intravenous ME-143 in patients with solid refractory tumors in September 2011 and plans to present safety and pharmacokinetic data from the trial at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in June 2012.
The company received approval of its Investigational New Drug application for ME-344 in April 2012 and is initiating a Phase 1 clinical trial of intravenous ME-344 in patients with solid refractory tumors.
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Marshall Edwards owns exclusive worldwide rights to all of its drug candidates, including ME-143 and ME-344. The company's intellectual property portfolio now includes 15 issued U.S. patents, at least 12 additional U.S. patent applications, and more than 70 issued foreign patents and 50 foreign patent applications.
MSHL is trading up 1.58% at $0.670 on Wednesday. The stock has been trading between $0.64 and $3.28 for the past 52 weeks.