On May 31, 2017 GlycoMimetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:GLYC) reported that the second of two patient cohorts in the Phase 2 portion of its ongoing Phase 1/2 clinical trial of GMI-1271 in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has completed enrollment (Press release, GlycoMimetics, MAY 31, 2017, View Source [SID1234519338]). This second cohort is comprised of 66 participants with relapsed/refractory AML. The study is designed to evaluate the potential of GMI-1271, an E-selectin antagonist drug candidate, in combination with chemotherapy, as a treatment for individuals with either newly diagnosed or relapsed/refractory AML. Enrollment in the study’s first arm in newly diagnosed elderly AML patients was completed in the first quarter of this year. GlycoMimetics expects to submit interim study data for presentation at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) (Free ASH Whitepaper) Annual Meeting in December 2017.
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"Across the two cohorts of this Phase 1/2 clinical trial, we have a strong sample size of 91 patients and experienced brisk enrollment, which we feel is indicative of the strong interest that our clinical investigators have for this novel agent," said Helen Thackray, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of GlycoMimetics. "We are further encouraged by GMI-1271’s achievement of European Orphan Designation as well as the recent granting of Breakthrough Therapy designation by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of adults with relapsed/refractory AML. We believe GMI-1271, when combined with chemotherapy, has the potential to address an unmet therapeutic need for individuals living with AML, and we are encouraged by both our clinical results to date and the acknowledgement of the U.S. and European regulatory agencies."
Interim clinical data from the ongoing trial of GMI-1271 will be presented at the 2017 meetings of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) (Free ASCO Whitepaper) and the European Hematology Association (EHA) (Free EHA Whitepaper). To date, GMI-1271 has been consistently well tolerated, with no obvious incremental toxicity when added to chemotherapy. In addition, patients with AML treated with GMI-1271 have experienced higher than expected remission rates and lower than expected 30- and 60-day mortality rates.
"The consistency of our data readouts is great news in and of itself, and the emerging biomarker data is especially encouraging," said Rachel King, CEO of GlycoMimetics. "AML has long been a difficult indication for the developers of new therapeutics, and we continue to feel more confident that our investigational drug, GMI-1271, may play a role in addressing key unmet needs in this deadly cancer."
In addition to the ongoing Phase 1/2 trial, clinical investigators are currently evaluating GMI-1271 in an ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial in multiple myeloma. Preclinical data supporting the multiple myeloma study was recently published in an online preview of the journal Leukemia on April 25, 2017. Specifically, the newly published preclinical results indicate that myeloma with higher levels of E-selectin ligands is a more aggressive disease that is more likely to be resistant to bortezomib, which is currently the front-line standard of care The publication reported that in preclinical studies, the combination treatment of GMI-1271 to bortezomib was able to break this chemoresistance and restore sensitivity to bortezomib which led to significant improvement in survival. This preclinical multiple myeloma conclusion supports the clinical findings on the potential biomarker that the Company is presenting at ASCO (Free ASCO Whitepaper) and EHA (Free EHA Whitepaper) next month.
AML is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. AML is the most common type of acute leukemia in adults. The National Cancer Institute estimates that there will be over 21,000 new cases of AML diagnosed in 2017 in the United States, and over 10,000 people will die from all forms of the disease in 2017. AML is more commonly present in elderly patients. Unlike other cancers that start in an organ and spread to the bone marrow, AML is known for rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells that gather in the bone marrow, getting in the way of normal blood cell production. The lack of normal blood cells can cause some of the symptoms of AML, including anemia (shortage of red blood cells resulting in tiredness and weakness), neutropenia (shortage of white blood cells that may lead to increased infections), and thrombocytopenia (shortage of platelets in the blood that may lead to excessive bleeding). Current treatment options for AML consist of reducing and eliminating cancer cells mainly through chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and stem cell transplantation.