A cancer research company from Cheshire has secured a game-changing patent in the US.

BiVictriX Therapeutics is developing a drug for the treatment for patients with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).

The patent has been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and provides broad protection for the company’s lead therapeutic drug – referred to as BVX001.

The Alderley Park-based company’s CEO is 34-year-old Tiffany Thorn, who is one of the UK’s youngest CEOs of a publicly listed company.

Thorn told BusinessCloud: “BVX001 is a new type of precision cancer therapeutic which works by locating cancer cells in the body through recognising a cancer-specific pattern on the cancer cell surface.

“The drug works by recognising and binding to this specific pattern on the cancer cell surface.

“Once bound to the cell, it is taken up into the cancer cell and only inside the cancer cell does it release its cell killing power – effectively killing the cancer cell from the inside out. We refer to this as a ‘loaded missile’.

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“By recognising this specific pattern, only found on cancer cells, we have enabled this drug to truly differentiate cancer cells from other healthy cells in the body, thereby aiming to spare patients from any harmful side effects and toxicities which are common to other cancer treatments and often lead to discontinuation of therapy.

“We are developing this drug as a new treatment for patients with one of the most aggressive forms of leukaemia, a disease called acute myeloid leukaemia, where survival rates remain dismal despite decades of research.

“The patent claims specifically cover any drug of this kind which recognises this specific cancer pattern (CD7 x CD33) for the treatment of any type of leukaemia where patients are found to have this specific pattern (CD7 x CD33) on their cancer cells.

“The claims of the patent therefore extend beyond AML and provide very robust protection for this therapeutic.”

Thorn, whose own father was diagnosed with AML, said: “This patent grant is expected to be the first of many as we continue to prosecute the wider patent family in seven further jurisdictions worldwide, creating a robust patent protected portfolio.”

Barbara Fleck, European patent attorney and partner at Appleyard Leads IP LLP, commented: “I am very pleased to see that the USPTO has issued BiVictriX’s patent with broad claims to methods for treating a CD7+CD33+ haematological malignancy by administering a cell inhibiting agent linked to a cytotoxin that bispecifically binds to CD33 and CD7.

“Obtaining such broad claims in the antibody space is challenging and this not only validates BiVictriX’s Bi-Cygni® ADC technology for the treatment of AML, but also provides the company with broad US patent coverage in a competitive space.”

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BiVictriX Therapeutics employs 13 people and raised £7.5m when the company listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) in 2021. The company also has a presence in Wales.