Clinical stage biotechnology company ValiRx announced on Tuesday that the US patent and trademark office has granted the patent application 14/575065 (Anti-Androgen Peptides and Uses Thereof in Cancer Therapy), covering ValiRx's lead therapeutic compound, VAL201, which is in clinical trials.
The AIM-traded firm said the development followed its earlier announcement on 11 January, regarding its receipt of a US Patent Notice of Allowance.
It said the patent application covered the molecule and use of compounds in pharmaceutically-acceptable products.
The patent coverage also included a wide variety of derivatives, modifications and analogues of the compounds and their mode of action.
Furthermore, the protection sought includes therapeutic formulations with associated delivery systems.
The grant of the US patent for VAL201 represented one of the cornerstones of the company's commercial strategy, the board explained, since ValiRx had already secured patent protection in several other territories including Europe.
It added that the positioning, in having patent protection in major markets, was in line with the pharmaceutical industry's increasing search for novel proprietary therapies in the oncology arena.
There were patent applications currently pending in "many other territories" and covering various aspects of the programme, the board claimed.
As it announced on 18 December, the compound was currently in a Phase I/II study primarily assessing safety and tolerability of VAL201, and its effect in the treatment of prostate cancer and other solid tumours.
No dose-limiting toxicity had been observed, nor had there been any therapeutically-related side effects.
So far, ValiRx said VAL201 had met and exceeded the predicted safety and tolerability criteria set for the trial.
Subjects showed preliminary therapeutic efficacy and significant changes in their PSA levels related to treatment with VAL201.
Those were said to be in line with pre-clinical studies, which showed efficacy in prostate, breast and ovarian cancer models as well as addressing endometriosis or hormone induced abnormal cell growth in women.
"I am delighted that VAL201 is now in receipt of a US patent grant and it comes at an opportune time for the company and shortly after we received approval from the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and Research Ethics Committee for the company to expand its VAL201 trial to more speedily reach VAL201's full therapeutic potential and potential anti-cancer impact," said ValiRx CEO Dr Satu Vainikka.
"This US grant further strengthens the VAL201 patent portfolio and provides ValiRx with patent protection in all its largest commercial markets globally.
"ValiRx continues to look forward confidently to further securing value across its therapeutic portfolio."