A Phase 2 clinical trial of a treatment for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma has launched, led by U.K.-based Astex Therapeutics Ltd. and funded by Norwalk, Conn.-based Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). Noopur Raje, of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, is named as principal investigator of the trial.
The trial will test the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor, AT7519, alone and combined with bortezomib (Velcade).
MMRC funded the drug development through its affiliate organization, the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF), and its Biotech Investment Award program. MMRF is the leading private funder of multiple myeloma research worldwide.
Founded in 2004, the MMRC has pushed numerous drug candidates through clinical trials to treat multiple myeloma research, including its January 2009 trial of Zolinza  from Merck & Co. and a 2008 study of a four-drug combination  of Revlimid, Velcade for injection, Doxil and dexamethasone.