Lugano, Switzerland and San Diego, USA, November 3, 2016 – Helsinn, a Swiss pharmaceutical group focused on building quality cancer care products, and MEI Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: MEIP), an oncology company focused on the clinical development of novel therapies for cancer, today announced that long-term survival and response data from a Phase II clinical study of Pracinostat and azacitidine in older patients with acute myeloid leukemia have been selected for oral presentation at the upcoming American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting in San Diego on December 3-6, 2016.
An abstract of the presentation was published today on the ASH website at www.hematology.org. In accordance with ASH policies, information that goes beyond that which is contained within the abstract is embargoed until the Annual Meeting.
Title: A Phase 2 Study of Pracinostat and Azacitidine in Older Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Not Eligible for Induction Chemotherapy: Response and Long-Term Survival Benefit
Session Name: 616. Acute Myeloid Leukemia: Novel Therapy, excluding Transplantation: Novel Agents in AML Therapy
Session Date: Saturday, December 3, 2016
Session Time: 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM
Room: Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina, San Diego Ballroom AB
Pracinostat is a potential best-in-class, oral histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for Pracinostat in combination with azacitidine for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed AML who are ≥75 years of age or unfit for intensive chemotherapy. In August 2016, Helsinn and MEI Pharma entered into an exclusive licensing, development and commercialization agreement for Pracinostat in AML and other potential indications. The deal provides the complementary resources from both organizations to rapidly advance Pracinostat into Phase III clinical development and expand into additional indications, including high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).
Acute myeloid leukemia (also known as acute myelogenous leukemia) is the most common acute leukemia affecting adults, and its incidence is expected to continue to increase as the population ages. The American Cancer Society estimates about 20,830 new cases of AML per year in the U.S., with an average age of about 67 years. Treatment options for AML remain virtually unchanged for nearly 40 years. Front line treatment consists primarily of chemotherapy, while the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology recommend hypomethylating agents azacitidine or decitabine as low intensity treatment options for AML patients over the age of 60 who are unsuitable for induction chemotherapy.
About the Helsinn Group
Helsinn is a privately owned cancer care pharmaceutical group with an extensive portfolio of marketed products and a broad development pipeline. Since 1976, Helsinn has been improving the everyday lives of patients, guided by core family values of respect, integrity and quality, through a unique integrated licensing business model working with long standing partners in pharmaceuticals, medical devices and nutritional supplement products. Helsinn is headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland, with operating subsidiaries in Ireland and the US, a representative office in China, as well as a product presence in about 90 countries globally. For more information, please visit www.helsinn.com.
About MEI Pharma
MEI Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: MEIP) is a San Diego-based oncology company focused on the clinical development of novel therapies for cancer. The Company’s portfolio of drug candidates includes Pracinostat, an oral HDAC inhibitor being developed in combination with azacitidine for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed AML who are ≥75 years of age or unfit for intensive chemotherapy and high-risk MDS. The Company’s clinical development pipeline also includes ME-401, an oral PI3K delta inhibitor currently in a Phase Ib study in patients with recurrent chronic lymphocytic leukemia or follicular non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and ME-344, a mitochondrial inhibitor currently in an investigator-sponsored study in combination with bevacizumab for the treatment of HER2-negative breast cancer. For more information, please visit www.meipharma.com.
MEI Pharma Forward-Looking Statements
Under U.S. law, a new drug cannot be marketed until it has been investigated in clinical studies and approved by the FDA as being safe and effective for the intended use. Statements included in this press release that are not historical in nature are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You should be aware that our actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, which are based on management's current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, our failure to successfully commercialize our product candidates; costs and delays in the development and/or FDA approval, or the failure to obtain such approval, of our product candidates; uncertainties or differences in interpretation in clinical trial results; our inability to maintain or enter into, and the risks resulting from our dependence upon, collaboration or contractual arrangements necessary for the development, manufacture, commercialization, marketing, sales and distribution of any products; competitive factors; our inability to protect our patents or proprietary rights and obtain necessary rights to third party patents and intellectual property to operate our business; our inability to operate our business without infringing the patents and proprietary rights of others; general economic conditions; the failure of any products to gain market acceptance; our inability to obtain any additional required financing; technological changes; government regulation; changes in industry practice; and one-time events. We do not intend to update any of these factors or to publicly announce the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements.
MEI Pharma Contacts
Pete De Spain
Vice President, Investor Relations
Helsinn Group Contact:
Head of Communication & Press Office