LOS ANGELES, Jan. 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: CYTR), a biopharmaceutical research and development company specializing in oncology, today announced positive interim results from its ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of aldoxorubicin for the treatment of Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS) in HIV-infected patients. The clinical results reported are from 9 patients, 6 of which carried the worst KS prognosis. Also, 4 of the 9 patients had received from 1 to 8 prior liposomal doxorubicin (Doxil®) cycles. Efficacy results revealed that all 9 patients (100%) exhibited a decrease in skin lesions and in the number of cancer cells expressing the KS virus DNA. Of the 6 patients with lung tumors, 4 patients (66%) demonstrated either a partial or complete response, with no patients (0%) demonstrating progression. Data thus far show that aldoxorubicin can be detected in all tumor biopsies 24 hours following drug administration. Preliminary safety results showed only 2 patients (22%) experienced a grade 4 adverse event (transient neutropenia and anemia). Other adverse events were mild and most were unrelated to aldoxorubicin.
"The current standard-of-care for severe dermatological and systemic KS is Doxil®, however, many patients experience significant toxicity, or exhibit minimal to no clinical response to this agent," said Steven Kriegsman, Chairman and CEO of CytRx. "Aldoxorubicin has demonstrated effectiveness against a range of tumors in the phase 2 clinical trial, thus we are optimistic in regard to its potential as a treatment for KS. This data provides important insight into both the safety and efficacy of aldoxorubicin in this indication, and the lack of toxicity of our drug in these patients is very impressive. We look forward to further data using aldoxorubicin in KS as this study continues."
Assuming a positive outcome of the ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial, CytRx plans to discuss with the FDA a potential pathway for the registration of aldoxorubicin for use in KS. The Company intends to submit the Phase 2 KS data for presentation at the 2015 ASCO annual meeting.
This open-label Phase 2 clinical trial is expected to enroll up to 30 patients, randomly assigned to three equally sized treatment arms which will receive aldoxorubicin at 50, 100 or 150 mg/m2 by 30-minute intravenous infusion. Because the KS patients in the study have compromised immune systems, the aldoxorubicin dosages administered in the trial are lower than those administered in the Company's clinical testing of aldoxorubicin in patients with soft tissue sarcomas. Patients with advanced KS receive aldoxorubicin on day 1, then every 3 weeks until evidence of tumor progression, unacceptable toxicity or withdrawal of consent. The primary objectives of preliminary efficacy include evaluation of the size, number and nodularity of skin lesions, change in size and number of lung lesions and changes in the number of tumor cells that express the KS virus DNA (Human Herpes Virus 8). The Company is also evaluating the level of aldoxorubicin uptake into lesions. Safety is being assessed through monitoring of adverse events and the ability to remain on assigned treatment. The trial is being conducted at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA. Possible additional sites are being considered to expedite enrollment.
KS is an orphan indication in the U.S.
About Kaposi's Sarcoma
Kaposi sarcoma is a cancer that causes lesions (abnormal tissue) to grow in the skin; the mucous membranes lining the mouth, nose, and throat; lymph nodes; or other organs. The lesions are usually purple and are made of cancer cells, new blood vessels, red blood cells, and white blood cells. Kaposi sarcoma is different from other cancers in that lesions may begin in more than one place in the body at the same time. KS remains the most common HIV-associated tumor worldwide. The condition is also endemic in certain parts of Central Africa and Central and Eastern Europe.
The widely used chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin is delivered systemically and is highly toxic, which limits its dose to a level below its maximum therapeutic benefit. Doxorubicin also is associated with many side effects, especially the potential for damage to heart muscle at cumulative doses greater than 450 mg/m2. Aldoxorubicin combines doxorubicin with a novel single-molecule linker that binds directly and specifically to circulating albumin, the most plentiful protein in the bloodstream. Protein-hungry tumors concentrate albumin, thus increasing the delivery of the linker molecule with the attached doxorubicin to tumor sites. In the acidic environment of the tumor, but not the neutral environment of healthy tissues, doxorubicin is released. This allows for greater doses (3 ½ to 4 times) of doxorubicin to be administered while reducing its toxic side effects. In studies thus far there has been no evidence of clinically significant effects of aldoxorubicin on heart muscle, even at cumulative doses of drug well in excess of 2,000 mg/m2.
About CytRx Corporation
CytRx Corporation is a biopharmaceutical research and development company specializing in oncology. CytRx currently is focused on the clinical development of aldoxorubicin (formerly known as INNO-206), its improved version of the widely used chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin. CytRx has initiated under a special protocol assessment a pivotal Phase 3 global trial with aldoxorubicin as a therapy for patients with soft tissue sarcomas whose tumors have progressed following treatment with chemotherapy, and recently announced that it has received approval from the FDA to continue dosing patients with aldoxorubicin until disease progression in that clinical trial. CytRx is currently evaluating aldoxorubicin in a global Phase 2b clinical trial in small cell lung cancer, a Phase 2 clinical trial in HIV-related Kaposi's sarcoma, a Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with late-stage glioblastoma (brain cancer), a Phase 1b trial in combination with ifosfamide in patients with soft tissue sarcoma, and a Phase 1b trial in combination with gemcitabine in subjects with metastatic solid tumors. CytRx has completed a global Phase 2b clinical trial with aldoxorubicin as a first-line therapy for soft tissue sarcomas, a Phase 1b/2 clinical trial primarily in the same indication, a Phase 1b clinical trial of aldoxorubicin in combination with doxorubicin in patients with advanced solid tumors and a Phase 1b pharmacokinetics clinical trial in patients with metastatic solid tumors. CytRx plans to expand its pipeline of oncology candidates at its laboratory facilities in Freiburg, Germany, based on novel linker technologies that can be utilized with multiple chemotherapeutic agents and may allow for greater concentration of drug at tumor sites. For more information about CytRx Corporation, visit www.cytrx.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from the events or results described in the forward-looking statements, including risks relating to the outcome, timing and results of CytRx's clinical trials, risks related to the clinical hold placed by the FDA on aldoxorubicin clinical trials and their potential impact on the timing or resumption of those trials, the timing or FDA approval of projected commercial sales of aldoxorubicin, the risk that any future human testing of aldoxorubicin might not produce results similar to those seen in past human or animal testing, risks related to CytRx's ability to manufacture its drug candidates in a timely fashion, cost-effectively or in commercial quantities in compliance with stringent regulatory requirements, risks related to CytRx's need for additional capital or strategic partnerships to fund its ongoing working capital needs and development efforts, including the Phase 3 clinical development of aldoxorubicin, risks related to lawsuits that have been brought against the Company and its officers and/or directors for alleged violations of the securities laws, and the risks and uncertainties described in the most recent annual and quarterly reports filed by CytRx with the Securities and Exchange Commission and current reports filed since the date of CytRx's most recent annual report. All forward-looking statements are based upon information available to CytRx on the date the statements are first published. CytRx undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
David J. Haen
Vice President, Business Development and Investor Relations
SOURCE CytRx Corporation