ERYTECH Pharma a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies by encapsulating therapeutic drug substances inside red blood cells, announced that the full results from its Phase 2b trial evaluating eryaspase in metastatic pancreatic cancer are now published online in the European Journal of Cancer.
The Phase 2b trial evaluated eryaspase, L-asparaginase encapsulated in red blood cells, as a second-line treatment in combination with chemotherapy in 141 patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer. In this trial, conducted in France, eryaspase was added to gemcitabine or mFOLFOX chemotherapy and compared to the chemotherapy alone in a 2-to-1 randomization.
Eryaspase in combination with chemotherapy significantly prolonged both Overall Survival (OS) and Progression Free Survival (PFS) in the entire patient population, with a 40% reduction in the risk of death (OS HR, 0.60; P=0.008), and a 44% reduction in risk of disease progression on average over time (PFS HR, 0.56; P=0.005). No unexpected safety findings were reported and eryaspase did not add substantially to the toxicity of chemotherapy. The results of the trial were first presented at ESMO 20171.
Principal Investigator Professor Pascal Hammel, gastroenterologist-oncologist and head of the Oncology Unit at Beaujon Hospital in Paris, said, “I am grateful that the editors of the European Journal of Cancer selected our study for publication. To our knowledge, this is the only Phase 2b study investigating the role of an asparaginase in pancreatic cancer. We look forward to confirming these results in the ongoing Phase 3 study (TRYbeCA1) which is now well underway internationally.”
Dr. Iman El-Hariry, Chief Medical Officer of ERYTECH, said, “Despite intense research efforts, limited progress has been made toward increased overall survival and metastatic pancreatic cancer remains a high unmet medical need. Therefore, we are very encouraged by the support from the medical community and their active participation in the TRYbeCA1 study, which builds on the Phase 2b study results published today in the European Journal of Cancer.”
About pancreatic cancer:
Pancreatic cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the tissues of the pancreas. Every year, there are approximately 185,0002 new cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosed in Europe and the United States. Pancreatic cancer is a particularly aggressive cancer, with a five-year survival rate below 10%3. It is currently the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States and is projected to rise to the second leading cause by 20304. Limited therapeutic options are currently available for this indication, thereby reinforcing the need to develop new therapeutic strategies and rational drug combinations with the aim of improving overall patient outcomes and quality of life.
About the European Journal of Cancer:
The European Journal of Cancer (EJC) integrates preclinical, translational, and clinical research in cancer, from epidemiology, carcinogenesis and biology through to innovations in cancer treatment and patient care. The journal publishes original research, reviews, previews, editorial comments and correspondence. The EJC is the official journal of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) and the European Society of Breast Cancer Specialists (EUSOMA).
About ERYTECH and eryaspase: www.erytech.com
ERYTECH is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative red blood cell-based therapeutics for severe forms of cancer and orphan diseases. Leveraging its proprietary ERYCAPS platform, which uses a novel technology to encapsulate drug substances inside red blood cells, ERYTECH is developing a pipeline of product candidates for patients with high unmet medical needs. ERYTECH’s primary focus is on the development of product candidates that target the altered metabolism of cancer cells by depriving them of amino acids necessary for their growth and survival.
The Company’s lead product candidate, eryaspase, which consists of L-asparaginase encapsulated inside donor-derived red blood cells, targets the cancer cell’s altered asparagine and glutamine metabolism. Eryaspase is in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of second-line pancreatic cancer and in Phase 2 for the treatment of first-line triple-negative breast cancer. An investigator-sponsored Phase 2 study in second-line acute lymphoblastic leukemia is ongoing in the Nordic countries of Europe.
ERYTECH produces its product candidates for treatment of patients in Europe at its GMP-approved manufacturing site in Lyon, France, and for patients in the United States at its recently opened GMP manufacturing site in Princeton, New Jersey, USA.