Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc., of Rockville, Md., has announced that it has received approval to begin a phase II study for its lead oncology compound, Archexin (formerly known as RX-0201), in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.


The trial is designed for patients who have either failed previous treatment or are unwilling or unable to be treated with standard therapy. Archexin is a first-in-class drug that blocks production of AKT, a kinase that stimulates the proliferation and survival of cancer cells and promotes angiogenesis.

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In preclinical and phase I clinical studies, the drug demonstrated effectiveness at inhibiting the proliferation of various cancer cells and regulating the growth of tumors.