The first results from the MesomiR 1 trial, a phase I clinical trial of a targeted delivery of a microRNA-based therapy, were published yesterday in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
The trial is a collaboration between ADRI, the Sydney-based biotech company EnGeneIC Ltd and three hospitals in Sydney. The treatment consists of EnGeneIC’s EDV(TM)nanocell delivery system, loaded with microRNA mimics developed by ADRI scientists, designed to restore levels of a family of microRNAs that are present at reduced levels in mesothelioma and lung cancer patients. The trial was made possible by a generous bequest by the Andrew Lloyd family, grants from the Cancer Institute NSW and Work Cover, and additional financial support from the John T Reid Charitable Trust and James Hardie Industries.
The paper describes the results the first cohort of 6 patients, all with mesothelioma, and includes details of the near-complete response in one patient. The trial – designed to investigate safety and optimal dose – is ongoing, with additional trials planned for the future.
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The Dr. J. Stumphius Recognition Award, sponsored by Shield Group International, was awarded to Prof. Nico van Zandwijk (ADRI) for his groundbreaking discovery in treating the asbestos cancer called mesothelioma, providing hope and saving lives of untold many people. The award, showing a glass plate on a bronze base, signifying a heavy burden shared by many, was presented by Dr. Yvonne Waterman and Hans van der Wart Msc, MBA, Bsc.
The award is named after the company doctor at Dutch shipyard De Schelde, who discovered and proved the relationship between the use of asbestos at the shipyard and the prevalent disease of mesothelioma among the workers there. He published a Ph.D. thesis of this discovery in 1969, which ever since has been held as the year that all Dutch employers are considered to know of the dangers of asbestos exposure. Dr. Stumphius initiated asbestos awareness in the Netherlands, the origin of the EAF.
You can see Prof van Zandwijk receiving his award here:
Marissa Williams, a Research Assistant at ADRI, was recently awarded a full PhD scholarship from Sydney Catalyst to support her PhD studies at The University of Sydney. This highly competitive and sought after award will allow Marissa to embark on PhD studies, putting to use the experience she has gained after 3 years at ADRI. Her project will aim to better understand the mechanisms leading to microRNA downregulation in malignant mesothelioma, as well as investigating the involvement of microRNAs in the resistance of mesothelioma to chemotherapeutic drugs.