"The results of this study clearly illustrate the potential of APG101 in the treatment of lower-risk MDS patients with severe impairment of erythropoiesis," said Harald Fricke, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Apogenix. "Since these patients generally fail to respond to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, there are currently no treatment options available for them. In a phase I trial in transfusion-dependent low to intermediate I risk MDS patients, Apogenix has evaluated the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of APG101. We expect the results of this clinical trial in the coming months."
The paper titled "APG101 efficiently rescues erythropoiesis in lower risk myelodysplastic syndromes with severe impairment of hematopoiesis" was published in Oncotarget, Volume 7, Number 12.
Apogenix develops innovative immuno-oncology therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other malignant diseases. The company has built a promising pipeline of immuno-oncology drug candidates that target different tumor necrosis factor superfamily (TNFSF)-dependent signaling pathways, thereby restoring the immune response against tumors. Since its inception in fall 2005, Apogenix has raised more than 90 million euros in financing rounds, public grants, as well as upfront and milestone payments from licensing agreements. The company is based in Heidelberg, Germany.
About Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)
MDS is a bone marrow disorder that is characterized by ineffective hematopoiesis and can lead to severe anemia. In most cases, the anemia is treated with blood transfusions that eventually result in an iron overload, which can damage the liver and other organs. At the same time, the number of thrombocytes that are responsible for coagulation and the number of leucocytes that are responsible for immune defense are significantly decreasing. As a result, MDS patients frequently suffer from sudden bleeding and life-threatening infections. In addition, they are at risk for developing acute myeloid leukemia, a type of blood cancer. A variety of different parameters are taken into account to assess the risk of developing AML. The International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS) classifies MDS patients into four risk groups – low risk, intermediate I risk, intermediate II risk, and high risk. APG101 is being developed for patients with low and intermediate I risk.
Apogenix' lead immuno-oncology candidate APG101 is a fully human fusion protein that consists of the extracellular domain of the CD95 receptor and the Fc domain of an IgG antibody. APG101 is being developed for the treatment of solid tumors and malignant hematological diseases. By blocking the CD95 ligand, which inhibits erythrocyte production in MDS patients, APG101 directly addresses the cause of the disorder and could thus provide a cure for MDS.
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