MEDIA RELEASE: Trial of new antibody gives hope to children suffering from brain cancer

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation awards Clinical Accelerator funding to Telethon Kids Cancer Centre/Patrys

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation’s (CBCF) inaugural Clinical Accelerator program will this year focus on a significant new treatment for children with aggressive brain cancers. Using a unique antibody that stops cancer cells from repairing themselves, the program could be a game changer for one of the biggest killers of children in Australia.

Launched in 2021 by CBCF, this is the world's largest brain cancer-dedicated Clinical Accelerator program designed to support late pre-clinical research to progress therapies into clinical trials and accelerate treatments to patients.

With this funding, Telethon Kids Cancer Centre in partnership with Australian therapeutic company Patrys Limited will now undertake the necessary laboratory work to move the antibody into a clinical trial by 2023.

The antibody works by targeting the DNA in cancer cells that have been damaged by radiotherapy and chemotherapy to then switch off the cells’ ability to repair themselves, causing the cancer cells to die.

It is hoped this will not only improve the effectiveness of the radiotherapy and chemotherapy but allow them to be given in much smaller doses.

Director of the Telethon Kids Cancer Centre, Professor Johns, said it was a crucial step forward for brain cancer patients, who have seen very few new treatments in the last three decades.

“Brain cancer remains a highly lethal disease and we believe that this is an excellent way we can help current treatment be more effective, extending lives,” he said.

“This is a good antibody for a range of cancers – obviously my focus is brain cancer – but it can be taken into other cancers in children and even into adults.”

Professor Johns said he expected the research to progress to a clinical trial stage as early as next year.

“We are getting ready to take this antibody into the clinic in 2023,” he said.

“We want to know the best way to use it in brain cancer patients, and we want to test it in our laboratory models in combination with radiotherapy.”

CEO of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, Lance Kawaguchi, said this is a strong move towards the goal of improving the quality of life for people living with the disease.

“Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is humbled to award our very first Clinical Accelerator to Prof Terry Johns from the Telethon Kids Cancer Centre in conjunction with leading Australian biotechnology company Patrys to continue our shared goal of improving treatments for people, especially children, living with brain cancer.

To have a ground-breaking antibody that can potentially be in clinic by 2023 is life changing, and we are committed to drive research breakthroughs with rapid results. It’s our mission to move towards a future where there’s a cure for brain cancer and this is a bold step in the right direction. We must continue to support early-stage biotechs, like Patrys, to close the gap in getting new therapies to patients.”

Telethon Kids Cancer Centre is committed to developing new, less toxic treatments for children with all cancers, to avoid the devastating side-effects that chemotherapy and radiotherapy have on their little bodies.

Professor Johns said it is hoped this antibody treatment would allow a lower dose of radiotherapy to be given.

“The main way we want to use this antibody in brain cancer patients is to improve radiotherapy,” he said.

“We believe it will improve current treatment, which is fairly ineffective for brain cancer patients, and help these patients to live longer.

“The other advantage of this antibody is that it could reduce the dose of radiotherapy needed and in children in particular that radiotherapy causes a lot of side effects, and it’s also damaging for adults as well.”


About Cure Brain Cancer Foundation:

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is the leading voice for brain cancer research, advocacy and awareness in Australia. We strive to rapidly increase brain cancer survival and improve the quality of life for people living with this disease – it’s at the core of everything we do. Thanks to your generosity, and the voluntary work of our global Scientific Advisory Committee, we’ve committed $29 million into world-class brain cancer research, including more than $8 million for projects to help children with the disease.

About Telethon Kids Institute:

The Telethon Kids Institute is one of the largest and most successful medical research institutes in Australia, comprising a dedicated and diverse team of more than 900 staff and students. We've created a bold blueprint that brings together community, researchers, practitioners, policy makers and funders, who share our vision to improve the health and wellbeing of children through excellence in research. The Institute is headed by leading paediatrician and infectious diseases expert Professor Jonathan Carapetis, with Founding Director Professor Fiona Stanley now Patron. Telethon Kids is independent and not-for-profit. The majority of funding comes from our success in winning national and international competitive research grants.  We also receive significant philanthropic support from corporate Australia and the community.

About Patrys Limited

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Patrys (ASX:PAB) is focused on the development of its deoxymab platform of cell-penetrating antibodies as therapies for a range of different cancers. The Company is advancing its lead asset, PAT-DX1 to the clinic and anticipates commencing clinical trials in mid 2023. More information can be found at


Media contact:

Claudia Booth, Health Haus
0431 287 720 or

Alison Savage, Senior Communications Officer, Telethon Kids Institute

08 6319 1073 or 0400 303 182 or