Celator Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CPXX) announced positive results from the Phase 3 trial of VYXEOS™ (cytarabine: daunorubicin) Liposome for Injection (also known as CPX-351) in patients with high-risk (secondary) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) compared to the standard of care regimen of cytarabine and daunorubicin known as 7+3. The trial met its primary endpoint demonstrating a statistically significant improvement in overall survival.  Data will be submitted for presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2016 Annual Meeting.

The median overall survival for patients treated with VYXEOS in the study was 9.56 months compared to 5.95 months for patients receiving 7+3, representing a 3.61 month improvement in favor of VYXEOS.  The hazard ratio (HR) was 0.69 (p=0.005) which represents a 31 percent reduction in the risk of death versus 7+3.   The percentage of patients alive 12 months after randomization was 41.5% on the VYXEOS arm compared to 27.6% on the 7+3 arm.  The percentage of patients alive 24 months after randomization was 31.1% on the VYXEOS arm compared to 12.3% on the 7+3 arm.

“The overall survival advantage seen with CPX-351 compared to 7+3, along with a superior response rate and no increase in serious toxicity indicates that we’ll likely have a new standard of care for treating older patients with secondary AML,” said Jeffrey E. Lancet, M.D., senior member and chief of the Leukemia/Myelodysplasia Program at Moffitt Cancer Center and the principal investigator for the study. “This represents a major step forward for a very difficult-to-treat patient population.”

VYXEOS also demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in induction response rate (CR+CRi of 47.7% versus 33.3%; p=0.016) and this significance was maintained for the analysis of CR alone (CR of 37.3% versus 25.6%, p=0.040).

Sixty-day all-cause mortality was 13.7% versus 21.2%, in favor of patients treated with VYXEOS.

No substantial difference in Grade 3 or higher adverse events was observed between VYXEOS and 7+3. In the intent-to-treat population, Grade 3 or higher, hematologic adverse events were similar for overall infections, febrile neutropenia, and bleeding events. In the intent-to-treat population, Grade 3 or higher, non-hematologic adverse events were similar across all organ systems, including cardiac, gastrointestinal, general systems, metabolic disorders, musculoskeletal, nervous system, respiratory, skin and renal.

“These findings confirm that VYXEOS provides the first opportunity we’ve had in decades to extend survival for patients with high-risk AML,” addedGail Roboz, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Director of the Leukemia Program at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York. “Also, more patients in remission means more who are eligible for potentially curative therapy.”

Based on these results the company expects to submit a New Drug Application (NDA) for VYXEOS with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this year and submit a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the first quarter of 2017.

“The successful outcome of this Phase 3 trial represents an important advance for AML patients, their families and clinicians,” said Scott Jackson, Chief Executive Officer of Celator Pharmaceuticals. “It also marks a major milestone for Celator, for VYXEOS, and for our CombiPlex® platform.  We offer our sincere thanks to the patients and investigators who participated in this study and we will work closely with regulatory authorities to make this new treatment available to the AML community as soon as possible.”

The clinical trial was conducted in partnership with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) through its Therapy Acceleration Program (TAP), which has supported the clinical development of VYXEOS beginning in Phase 2.(Original Source)

Shares of Celator Pharmaceuticals are skyrocketing 335% in after-hours trading. CPXX has a 1-year high of $3.26 and a 1-year low of $1.12. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.63 and its 200-day moving average is $1.76.