Lisavanbulin, the first targeted brain cancer drug

Lisavanbulin, the first targeted brain cancer drug

Lisavanbulin, a tumour checkpoint inhibitor from Basilea Pharmaceuticals targets End-Binding protein 1, (EB1), preventing tubulin polymerisation in Glioblastoma (GBM) brain cancer; it is proceeding to part II of Clinical Trials. 


Early phase I results from a clinical trial being led by the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and the Institute of Cancer Research in London are “encouraging” with one patient having his brain tumour shrunk by 93% over the four years since the trial started (1).


Lisavanbulin is termed a tumour checkpoint controller drug and is an orally available, highly water-soluble lysine prodrug with potential antitumor activity. Upon administration of lisavanbulin and conversion into the active form ‘BAL27862’, this agent binds to tubulin and prevents tubulin polymerization thus destabilising microtubules, which ultimately leads to cell cycle arrest, blockage of cell division and an induction of cell death in cancer cells.

Lisavanbulin is under investigation in clinical trial as 48-hour infusions in patients with advanced solid tumors or recurrent Glioblastoma.

In the trial, people also have chemotherapy and radiotherapy and must test positive for  the potential response-predictive biomarker EB1 (end-binding protein 1).

An international phase 2 study has begun and centres across the UK, Switzerland and Germany are recruiting patients. The drug is from Basilea Pharmaceuticals Ltd (2).

The Brain Tumour Research Centre at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) is a partnership between The Blizard Institute at QMUL, University College London (UCL), and The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London. 


Go to: Worm killer Mebendazole targets tubulin in GBM.




  1. First brain cancer targeted drug


  1. Basilea Pharmaceuticals Ltd targeted brain cancer drug 



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