Yiviva, a pharmaceutical company focused on developing botanical drugs, has moved its lead candidate further into an international phase IIb trial for liver cancer and closer to an application through the FDA’s little-used botanicals pathway and a similar pathway in China. The company’s lead candidate, YIV-906 is intended for use in immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. With YIV-906, Yiviva is working to develop a product that can minimize the number of drugs cancer
patients have to take by modulating their immune and inflammatory responses. Results from early studies, that have to date reached about 170 patients with liver, pancreatic, colorectal and rectal cancers, are promising, says Yiviva co-founder and CEO Peikwen Cheng.
“We actually developed it out of a four-herb extract, four very common herbs, licorice, peonies, dates and skullcap,” Cheng told BioWorld. “We built upon what was known and based upon how we source and how we process, created a product that now can enhance the immune system, cytoprotect the (gastrointestinal tract) and lead to tissue regeneration.”
YIV-906 is an immune system modulator that has shown an ability to strengthen antitumor activity in a broad range of cancer treatments by boosting the immune response in the tumor microenvironment. It also cytoprotects the gastrointestinal tract to reduce inflammation and side-effects and speeds up tissue regeneration by promoting the growth of progenitor and stem cells.
“When we look at cancer treatment, we believe the next generation of cancer treatment will move beyond the tumor microenvironment,” said Cheng. “The goal is to improve survival and quality of life for patients.”