CTI BioPharma reports progress of lead programmes and strategic objectives for 2017

SeattleTuesday, January 10, 2017, 18:00 Hrs  [IST]

CTI BioPharma Corp. (CTI BioPharma) has announced positive progress on its lead programmes in addition to key business priorities for 2017.

"Throughout 2016 we maintained our commitment to bringing new therapies to patients with unmet medical needs, and were successful in working with the FDA to remove the full clinical hold on pacritinib and get it back on the development track for the benefit of myelofibrosis patients," said Richard Love, interim president and chief executive officer of CTI BioPharma.

He further says, "The PERSIST-2 clinical trial of pacritinib was highlighted as one of six late-breaking data presentations at the American Society of Hematology conference in December. We believe this oral presentation was well received by the hematology/oncology community, which recognizes the unmet need for myelofibrosis patients who are  ineligible to receive or are not benefitting from the approved JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor, ruxolitinib. Additionally, the PIX306 confirmatory trial of our commercial product PIXUVRI(R)(pixantrone) continues to progress toward an announcement of top-line results  later this year.  If positive, this trial could provide the opportunity for full approval and label expansion by EMA, and discussions with the FDA about accelerated PIXUVRI approval in the US for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. We have also made significant effort at reducing our expenses and believe we are well positioned moving into 2017."

In January 2017, CTI BioPharma had announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) removed the full clinical hold on studies being conducted under the Investigational New Drug (IND) application for pacritinib.

In December 2016, data from the randomized Phase 3 PERSIST-2 clinical trial comparing pacritinib with physician-specified best available therapy (BAT), including ruxolitinib, for treatment of patients with myelofibrosis whose baseline platelet counts are less than 100,000 per microliter was one of six late-breaking oral presentations at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting. Patients in the trial were randomized to receive 200 mg pacritinib twice daily (BID), 400 mg pacritinib once daily (QD), or BAT. In those patients who had a chance to reach Week 24 (the primary analysis time point) at the time the clinical hold was imposed, the trial showed a statistically significant response rate in spleen volume reduction (SVR) in patients treated with pacritinib compared to BAT irrespective of prior treatment with ruxolitinib.

The co-primary endpoint of reduction of Total Symptom Score (TSS) was not achieved but trended toward improvement in TSS. Although secondary objectives could not be evaluated formally due to the study not achieving one of the primary objectives, when the two pacritinib dosing arms were evaluated separately versus BAT, pacritinib BID showed a higher percent of SVR and TSS responses compared to BAT; whereas, pacritinib given QD showed only a higher percent SVR responses compared to BAT. There was no significant difference in overall survival (OS) across treatment arms, censored at the time of clinical hold. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events (AEs), occurring in 20 percent or more of patients treated with pacritinib within 24 weeks, of any grade, were gastrointestinal (generally manageable diarrhea, nausea and vomiting) and hematologic (anemia and thrombocytopenia) and were generally less frequent for BID versus QD administration.  The most common serious treatment-emergent AEs (incidence of =5 percent reported in any treatment arm irrespective of grade) were anemia, thrombocytopenia, pneumonia and acute renal failure none of which exceeded 8 percent individually in any arm. The presentation was also selected to be part of the "2017 Highlights of ASH" program designed to review significant scientific updates presented at ASH with hematologists/oncologists at five locations across the U.S.

In January 2017, CTI BioPharma received a €7.5 million milestone payment from its partner Servier following achievement of  a milestone associated with patient enrollment in the Phase 3 PIX306 clinical trial of PIXUVRI. The trial is a post-authorization trial as part of the conditional marketing authorization of PIXUVRI in the European Union (E.U.) The PIX306 is comparing PIXUVRI and rituximab with gemcitabine and rituximab in the setting of aggressive B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). The trial continues to enroll patients.