Researchers recently treated the first patients who are participating in a phase 2 clinical trial of a novel therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

In this open-label study, the drug, Aptocine (talaporfin sodium), is being tested for safety and efficacy in 40 patients with BPH-related lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). Talaporfin sodium is in phase 3 trials for solid tumors in the liver and is in preclinical development for prostate cancer, according to the drug’s developer, Light Sciences Oncology (LSO).

“Beyond Aptocine’s late-state development as a revolutionary treatment for solid tumors, we believe Aptocine also presents a new paradigm in treating benign neoplasms such as BPH,” said company President and CEO, Llew Keltner, MD, PhD.

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Talaporfin sodium is a water-soluble compound targeted inside a tumor or other tissue by a small, single-use, disposable drug activator included with the drug. This activator contains a tiny array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) that emit red light at a discrete frequency and intensity to activate the medication and create a “treatment region” around the LED array, according to an LSO press statement. The LED array fits inside a standard catheter. Physicians insert the catheter into the urethra, inject the drug intravenously, and then energize the activator.