A new treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, the most common form of liver cancer) has received a fast-track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which will likely expedite its development. The FDA granted the designation to the Israeli biotech company Can-Fite BioPharma on behalf of its investigational drug CF102.  

Liver disease is a major cause of death among HIV-positive individuals, in particular if they are coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Irrespective of HIV, hep C can lead to fibrosis (scarring of the liver), cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. HIV coinfection has been shown to accelerate HCV-related liver damage.

Can-Fite is currently conducting a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled Phase II trial of CF102. The company expects to complete enrollment by the first half of 2012, including a total of 78 participants with Child-Pugh Class B cirrhosis who failed Nexavar (sorafenib).

Nexavar is the only drug FDA approved to treat late-stage liver cancer that cannot be treated with surgery.

To read a press release about the study, click here.