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Scottish DNA vaccines developer BigDNA has renamed itself Iceni Pharmaceuticals and relaunched to focus on repurposed cancer therapies. The firm’s lead candidate is cilengitide, a cyclic peptide. Cilengitide was initially developed by the Technical University of Munich and Merck KGaA, but it failed late-stage clinical trials for treating glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. Iceni has demonstrated in preclinical trials that cilengitide is effective in a combination therapy for treating myeloma, a bone cancer. Iceni plans to begin Phase II trials in 2017.
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