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Panbela Therapeutics Divests Eflornithine Assets to US WorldMeds

Clinical-stage company Panbela Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: PBLA) has announced it has sold certain assets within its eflornithine pediatric neuroblastoma program to US WorldMeds, a Kentucky-based specialty pharmaceutical company.

What is Neuroblastoma?

Neuroblastoma is a rare type of cancer that originates from immature nerve cells and contributes to nearly 15% of pediatric cancer deaths.

Panbela's Eflornithine Program

Panbela's subsidiary, Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals, has been working extensively with leading neuroblastoma research groups in the clinical development of eflornithine as a treatment for neuroblastoma.

Collaborative Efforts

The collaborative efforts have involved:

  • The Neuroblastoma Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (now Beat Childhood Cancer)

  • New Advances in Neuroblastoma Therapy (NANT)

  • The Children’s Oncology Group (COG)

  • The National Cancer Institute (NCI)

These collaborations, which have spanned multiple years, have led the Company to receive orphan drug designations for the use of eflornithine in the treatment of neuroblastoma in both the United States and Europe.

Agreement Terms

Under the terms of the agreement, Panbela is entitled to receive up to approximately $9.5 million non-dilutive funding in exchange for the sale of certain assets within its pediatric neuroblastoma program for eflornithine.

Panbela will receive payments upon USWM’s successful completion of milestones related to eflornithine's clinical development, regulatory approval, and commercial sales.

Panbela's Business Strategy

Panbela's CEO, Jennifer K. Simpson, views the divestiture of eflornithine assets as a significant milestone in executing their business plan to generate long-term value for shareholders. She welcomes US WorldMeds as a new partner and looks forward to the potential to generate considerable development milestone payments.

Expanding Portfolio

“This agreement further expands our portfolio of partner-funded programs and has the potential to generate considerable development milestone payments. We welcome US WorldMeds to our portfolio of partners who continue the development of our product candidates.” - Jennifer K. Simpson, President & CEO of Panbela.

US WorldMeds and Eflornithine

US WorldMeds will further the clinical development of eflornithine, aiming to address this high unmet need and significantly improve outcomes for children with this devastating disease.

"Our agreement with Panbela supports our overarching objective of redefining the standard of care and significantly improving outcomes for children with this devastating disease, who are in urgent need of new therapies." - Paul Breckinridge Jones, CEO of US WorldMeds.

Panbela's Pipeline

Panbela's pipeline consists of assets currently in clinical trials with an initial focus on familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), first-line metastatic pancreatic cancer, neoadjuvant pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer prevention, and ovarian cancer.


Ivospemin is a proprietary polyamine analogue designed to induce polyamine metabolic inhibition (PMI) by exploiting an observed high affinity of the compound for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and other tumors. For more information, please visit Clinical Trials.


Flynpovi is a combination of CPP-1X (eflornithine) and sulindac with a dual mechanism inhibiting polyamine synthesis and increase polyamine export and catabolism.


CPP-1X (eflornithine) is being developed as a single agent tablet or high dose power sachet for several indications including prevention of gastric cancer, treatment of neuroblastoma, and recent onset Type 1 diabetes.

About Panbela

Panbela Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing disruptive therapeutics for patients with urgent unmet medical needs. For more information, visit Panbela.

About US WorldMeds

US WorldMeds (USWM) is a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company pioneering research and product development in therapeutic areas that desperately need new solutions. For more information about USWM, visit US WorldMeds.


  1. Giselle L. et al. Maintenance DFMO Increases Survival in High-Risk Neuroblastoma. Scientific Reports, 2018; 8 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-018-32659-w

  2. Synapse: Global Drug Intelligence Database


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