Stock Update (NASDAQ:MEIP): MEI Pharma Inc and Helsinn Group Report Prolongation of Survival Results from Phase 2 Clinical Study of Pracinostat and Azacitidine in Acute Myeloid Leukemia

MEI Pharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:MEIP) and Helsinn, a Swiss pharmaceutical group focused on building quality cancer care products, announced final results from a Phase 2 clinical study of the investigational drug candidate Pracinostat and azacitidine in elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who were not eligible for induction chemotherapy, including evidence of prolongation of survival in the overall population and across a number of patient subgroups.

In an oral presentation at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting on Saturday, Dr. Guillermo Garcia-Manero, MD Anderson Cancer Center, principal investigator of the study, reported a median overall survival of 19.1 (95%CI: 10.7-26.5) months, one-year survival of 62% and a complete response (CR) rate of 42%.

“The results from this study of Pracinostat and azacitidine in elderly patients deemed unfit for intensive therapy are particularly encouraging,” said Dr. Garcia-Manero. “Despite recent advances in the treatment of AML, options for these elderly unfit patients remain limited. The combination of Pracinostat and azacitidine appears to show a long-term survival benefit in this population, including an unprecedented two-year survival rate of 41% in this study. Furthermore, the prolongation of survival over what is generally expected for azacitidine alone is observed not only in the overall population, but across virtually every defined patient subset, including cytogenetic risk group, de novo or secondary AML, age and ECOG performance status.”

The open-label Phase 2 study enrolled a total of 50 patients at 15 centers across the U.S. Median age in the study was 75 years. Patients received 60 mg of Pracinostat orally three times a week for three weeks followed by one week of rest and 75 mg m2 of azacitidine via subcutaneous injection or intravenous infusion for the first seven days of each 28-day cycle. The combination of Pracinostat and azacitidine had no unexpected toxicities. The most common grade 3/4 treatment-emergent adverse events reported in >10% of all patients included thrombocytopenia, febrile neutropenia, neutropenia, fatigue and anemia.

Site recruitment is ongoing for the global Phase 3 study of Pracinostat and azacitidine in newly diagnosed AML patients who are ≥75 years of age or unfit for intensive induction chemotherapy. (Original Source)

MEI Pharma, Inc. is an oncology company, which engages in clinical development of novel small molecules for the treatment of cancer. Its portfolio of drug candidates includes Pracinostat, an oral inhibitor that is poised to enter a phase study for the treatment of elderly patients with newly diagnosed acute myeloid leukemia (AML). 

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