CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ:CYTR), a biopharmaceutical research and development company specializing in oncology, announced positive updated results from its ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial with aldoxorubicin for the treatment of unresectable glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a deadly form of brain cancer. The open-label, multisite trial is designed to investigate the preliminary efficacy and safety of aldoxorubicin in patients whose tumors have progressed following prior treatment with surgery, radiation and temozolomide.
Study subjects (n=18) have received between 1 and 14 cycles of aldoxorubicin, with 4 subjects continuing to receive aldoxorubicin treatment. Subjects received either 350 mg/m2 (260 mg/m2 doxorubicin equivalent) (n=6) or 250 mg/m2 (185 mg/m2 doxorubicin equivalent) (n=12) of aldoxorubicin intravenously on Day 1, and every 21 days thereafter until discontinuation. Notably, 2 subjects (11%) diagnosed with tumor progression following aldoxorubicin treatment (1 and 5 cycles, respectively) demonstrated no microscopic evidence of tumor tissue, a pathological complete response, when tissue was examined after resection. Fourteen of 18 subjects discontinued aldoxorubicin treatment, although there is a significant possibility that some of the patients experienced pseudo-progression. Pseudo-progression refers to post-treatment imaging changes in the tumor where the tumor appears larger compared to the pre-treatment baseline images. These changes can be misleading in that the tumor appears to get worse (true progression), when in fact the changes may be the result of tumor destruction and related swelling around the tumor bed. Following discontinuation of aldoxorubicin treatment, 10 of 14 subjects received treatment with bevacizumab (Avastin®) for 1 to 14 cycles. Deaths have occurred in only 4 of 18 subjects (22%) to date, with survival duration so far of up to 10 plus months.
Aldoxorubicin was well tolerated at both dose levels with all adverse events consistent with known doxorubicin toxicities, but not cardiotoxity. Grade 3 or 4 adverse events were comprised primarily of neutropenia, anemia and fatigue and occurred mainly in the 350 mg/m2 dose group and were resolved before the next dose. Only two aldoxorubicin-related serious adverse events have occurred in the trial, and both resolved successfully.
“GBM is the most common and aggressive malignant primary brain cancer in humans and carries an extremely poor prognosis for the vast majority of diagnosed patients. Prognosis at recurrence is especially poor,” said Morris D. Groves, M.D., Neuro-Oncologist, Texas Oncology-Austin Brain Tumor Center and co-principal investigator of the trial. “Pseudo-progression is commonly seen in CNS malignancies undergoing radiation therapy, and it mimics tumor progression, but it is thought to be a treatment-related reaction that could represent an active, inflammatory response against the tumor. The findings from this trial are early but exciting; the finding of no tumor cells in the resected GBM tumor samples after treatment with aldoxorubicin is worth further investigation. This suggests, somewhat paradoxically, that by binding to albumin, aldoxorubicin may allow doxorubicin to cross the blood:brain barrier and into the malignancy.”
“These results suggest the possibility that the administration of Avastin® after treatment with aldoxorubicin could prolong survival in patients with relapsed GBM, and patient follow up is currently ongoing,” said Daniel Levitt, M.D., Ph.D., CytRx Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “At the upcoming 2015American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, we will be convening with the study investigators to discuss the potential for a pivotal trial evaluating aldoxorubicin in combination with Avastin® for the treatment of relapsed GBM, with survival as the primary endpoint. We also look forward to submitting the results from this ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial for presentation at a neuro-oncology-focused medical meeting in 2015.”
The primary objective of this Phase 2 trial is to determine progression-free survival (PFS) at 6 months and overall survival (OS) in patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme. The principal secondary objective is to evaluate the safety of aldoxorubicin in study patients as assessed by the frequency and severity of adverse events. Only patients who have not received prior treatment with bevacizumab (Avastin®) are eligible to participate in the trial. The clinical trial is expected to enroll up to 28 patients randomly assigned equally to receive either 350 mg/m2 (260 mg/m2 doxorubicin equivalent) or 250 mg/m2 (185 mg/m2 doxorubicin equivalent) of aldoxorubicin intravenously on Day 1, and every 21 days thereafter until evidence of tumor progression, unacceptable toxicity or withdrawal of consent. Tumor response is monitored every 6 weeks by MRI until disease progression occurs. The trial is being conducted at the John Wayne Cancer Center/Sarcoma Oncology Center in Santa Monica, CA, City of Hope in Duarte, CA, the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA, and Texas Oncology in Austin, TX.
This Phase 2 study follows positive confirmatory results reported in 2013 from a preclinical study in which aldoxorubicin demonstrated statistically significant efficacy (p<.0001) in the treatment of rapidly growing human brain (glioblastoma) cancer in the brains of animals. In that study, animals treated with aldoxorubicin had median survival of more than 63 days, compared with approximately 25 days for animals treated with doxorubicin or saline. In addition, because aldoxorubicin uptake was confined to the tumor in the brain rather than normal brain tissue, the principal investigator concluded that aldoxorubicin has the potential to safely shrink glioblastoma tumors, which could dramatically prolong patient survival. (Original Source)
Shares of Cytrx closed yesterday at $4.02 . CYTR has a 1-year high of $5.46 and a 1-year low of $2.08. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $4.35 and its 200-day moving average is $3.26.
On the ratings front, Cytrx has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on May 5, Oppenheimer analyst Christopher Marai reiterated a Buy rating on CYTR, with a price target of $10, which represents a potential upside of 148.8% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on May 4, FBR’s Christopher James reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $8.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Christopher Marai and Christopher James have a total average return of 40.2% and -14.7% respectively. Marai has a success rate of 79.5% and is ranked #14 out of 3607 analysts, while James has a success rate of 28.6% and is ranked #3472.
CytRx Corp is a biopharmaceutical research and development company specializing in oncology. Its oncology pipeline includes three clinical-stage drug candidates in various stages of development: Aldoxorubicin, Tamibarotene, and Bafetinib.