Baton Rouge-based biotech startup Esperance Pharmaceuticals has presented the results of its Phase 1 study of EP-100, a membrane?disrupting peptide targeted in advanced solid tumors, at the American Society for Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago.

The product is designed to attach to the membranes of cancer cells and disrupts and destroys them without damaging healthy cells. The Phase 1 study was designed to determine the safety and maximum dose of EP-100, including a recommended dose for Phase 2 trials.

Esperance tested its drug on 38 patients in the Phase 1 study and has also done preclinical studies showing how EP-100 could work with various chemotherapeutic agents. Esperance has begun enrollment of patients in a Phase 2 multicenter trial for patients with advanced ovarian cancer randomized to EP?100 in combination with paclitaxel versus paclitaxel alone.