Access Pharma Commences European Phase II Study of ProLindac™ + Paclitaxel In Platinum-Sensitive Ovarian Cancer Patients

Access Pharmaceuticals announces commencement of a Phase 2 combination trial for its second generation DACH-platinum cancer drug, ProLindac™ (formerly known as AP5346), in platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer patients. This trial is an open-label, Phase 2 study of ProLindac™ given intravenously with paclitaxel. The combination trial will be conducted in up to eight European participating centers.

Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company leveraging its proprietary drug-delivery platforms to develop treatments in the areas of oncology, cancer supportive care and diabetes, announces commencement of a Phase 2 combination trial for its second generation DACH-platinum [the active part of the currently-marketed drug, oxaliplatin] cancer drug, ProLindac™ (formerly known as AP5346), in platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer patients. This trial is an open-label, Phase 2 study of ProLindac™ given intravenously with paclitaxel. The combination trial will be conducted in up to eight European participating centers.

“We are very pleased to be able to begin this trial, which will be the first of several ProLindac-based combination studies in a variety of indications,” said Prof. Esteban Cvitkovic, Vice Chairman Europe and Senior Director Clinical Oncology R&D, Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He continued, “The ambitious two-step design of the study will allow us to rapidly benchmark ProLindac/paclitaxel in a clinical setting where there is a clear need to establish an improved standard for long-term tumor responses. When treated using the current first-line combination of carboplatin/paclitaxel, more than half of patients with advanced ovarian cancer will relapse. There are very few second-line options. Approved agents for second-line and later therapy are currently focused primarily on the palliation of more resistant tumors. This lack of valid second-line options presents an opportunity to prove the role of ProLindac-based combinations in ovarian cancer.”

“After optimizing ProLindac’s scaled-up manufacturing process, we are pleased to be moving forward with its clinical development,” said Jeff Davis, President and CEO, Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He continued, “We think there is a significant clinical need and commercial opportunity for safer, more effective platinum drugs.”

Access Pharmaceuticals previously announced positive safety and efficacy results from its Phase 2 monotherapy clinical study of ProLindac™ in late-stage, heavily pretreated ovarian cancer patients. In this study, 66% of patients who received the highest dose achieved clinically meaningful disease stabilization according to RECIST [Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors] criteria, including sustained significant reductions in CA-125 (the established specific serum marker for ovarian cancer) observed in several patients. No patient in any dose group exhibited signs of acute neurotoxicity, which is a major adverse side-effect of the approved DACH platinum, Eloxatin®. ProLindac was very well tolerated, with only minor sporadic hematologic toxicity.

Access Pharmaceuticals is evaluating various indications where DACH platinum-based combinations have been proven active, such as hepatocarcinoma, biliary tree cancer and pancreatic cancer before deciding on an expanded Phase 2 program.

About ProLindac:

ProLindac™ is a novel DACH platinum prodrug that has completed a phase 2 monotherapy study in ovarian cancer patients. It is a polymer therapeutic that utilizes a safe, water-soluble nanoparticulate system to deliver DACH platinum to tumors, while reducing delivery to normal tissue, resulting in an increase in drug effectiveness and a significant decrease in toxic side-effects seen in the currently marketed DACH platinum, Eloxatin®.

For more information, please visit http://www.accesspharma.com/product-programs/prolindac/.

Source: Access Pharmaceuticals Commences ProLindac Phase 2 Combination Clinical Trial – Multicenter, Open-Label Trial to Target Platinum-Sensitive Ovarian-Cancer Patients, News Release, Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc., November 3, 2010.

Additional Information:


ProLindac Produces 66% Disease Stabilization In Heavily-Pretreated Patients Within Phase II Study High Dose Groups

“… ACCESS PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. … , announced today positive safety and efficacy results from its Phase 2 monotherapy clinical study of ProLindac(TM) in late-stage, heavily pretreated ovarian cancer patients. In this monotherapy study 66% of patients who received the highest dose achieved clinically meaningful disease stabilization according to RECIST [Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors] criteria. No patient in any dose group exhibited any signs of acute neurotoxicity, which is a major adverse side-effect of the approved DACH platinum, Eloxatin, and ProLindac was well tolerated overall. The maximum tolerated dose of ProLindac was established as well as the recommended dose levels for future combination studies. …”

66% of evaluable heavily-pretreated patients in the high dose groups achieved disease stabilization. ProLindac was well tolerated overall.

DALLAS, March 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — ACCESS PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. (OTCBB: ACCP), announced today positive safety and efficacy results from its Phase 2 monotherapy clinical study of ProLindac(TM) in late-stage, heavily pretreated ovarian cancer patients. In this monotherapy study 66% of patients who received the highest dose achieved clinically meaningful disease stabilization according to RECIST [Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors] criteria. No patient in any dose group exhibited any signs of acute neurotoxicity, which is a major adverse side-effect of the approved DACH platinum, Eloxatin, and ProLindac was well tolerated overall. The maximum tolerated dose of ProLindac was established as well as the recommended dose levels for future combination studies.

‘We are very pleased with these results. ProLindac was well tolerated in an absolute sense and relative to commercially-available platinum therapies. We saw significant DACH platinum activity and efficacy in patients at the highest dose levels which is very encouraging given that this study involved monotherapy in a heavily pretreated patient population that typically only respond to an aggressive drug combination,’ commented Dr. David Nowotnik, Access’ Senior Vice President R&D. ‘The DACH platinum activity level seen benchmarked favorably with published studies of monotherapy oxaliplatin in similar but less heavily pre-treated patient populations. Having achieved the recommended dose for future combination studies, we look forward to moving ahead in the clinic ourselves and with our regional partners.’

This 26 patient Phase 2 study explored 3 different dose levels and 2 dosing regimens of ProLindac as a monotherapy treatment for advanced ovarian cancer, to provide data on the monotherapy anticancer activity and safety of ProLindac. Of patients eligible for evaluation according to standard RECIST criteria, clinically-meaningful disease stabilization was achieved in 42% of all patients, and 66% of all patients in the higher dose groups. Sustained and significant reductions in Ca-125, the established specific serum marker for ovarian cancer, were also observed in several patients.

‘We are delighted that the results from this study support our belief that ProLindac is an active platinum agent with a favorable side effect profile,’ stated Jeffrey B. Davis, Access’ President & CEO. ‘These data provide us with a strong incentive to continue the clinical development of ProLindac. As previously announced, we are currently planning a number of combination trials, looking at combining ProLindac with other cancer agents, such as taxol and gemcitabine, in multiple solid tumor indications including colorectal and ovarian.’

Access has previously announced that it has licensed ProLindac to Jiangsu Aosaikang Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (“ASK”) for the Greater China Region and to JCOM, Ltd for South Korea. Under these agreements both of these partners will be conducting Phase 2 combination studies with ProLindac in specific tumor types at their expense based on these results. Access is currently in discussion with potential partners for development and commercialization of ProLindac in additional territories.

About ProLindac(TM):

ProLindac is a novel DACH platinum prodrug which has been shown to be active in a wide variety of solid tumors in both preclinical models and in human trials. Access believes that ProLindac’s unique molecular design potentially could eliminate some of the toxic side effects seen in the currently marketed DACH platinum, Eloxatin, which has sales in excess of $2 billion.

About Access:

Access Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an emerging biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes propriety products for the treatment and supportive care of cancer patients. Access’ products include ProLindac(TM), currently in Phase 2 clinical testing of patients with ovarian cancer, and MuGard(TM) for the management of patients with mucositis. The company also has other advanced drug delivery technologies including Cobalamin(TM)-mediated targeted delivery and oral drug delivery, its proprietary nanopolymer delivery technology based on the natural vitamin B12 uptake mechanism; Angiolix(R), a humanized monoclonal antibody which acts as an anti-angiogenesis factor and is targeted to breast cancer; Prodrax(R), a non-toxic prodrug which is activated in the hypoxic zones of solid tumors to kill cancer cells; Alchemix, a chemotherapeutic agent that combines multiple modes of action to overcome drug resistance. Access is also developing Phenylbutyrate (“PB”), an HDAC inhibitor and differentiating agent currently a Phase 2 clinical candidate. Access recently announced the acquisition of MacroChem Corporation. This acquisition provides Access with three additional late-stage product candidates. Pexiganan, a novel topical anti-infective for the treatment of diabetic foot infection, has already completed two Phase 3 trials. EcoNail is a topically applied econazole lacquer based on Access’ proprietary SEPA polymer technology, for the treatment of onychomycosis, a condition commonly known as nail fungus. Thiarabine is a new generation nucleoside analog which has demonstrated both pre-clinical and clinical activity in certain cancers. For additional information on Access Pharmaceuticals, please visit our website at www.accesspharma.com.

This press release contains certain statements that are forward-looking within the meaning of Section 27a of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements include those relating to: clinical trial plans and timelines and clinical results for ProLindac and product candidates acquired in the MacroChem transaction, our ability to execute licensing agreements in the future, Access’ plans to continue and initiate clinical trials, the value of its products in the market, its ability to achieve clinical and commercial success and its ability to successfully develop marketed products. These statements are subject to numerous risks, including but not limited Access’ need to obtain additional financing in order to continue the clinical trial and operations and to the risks detailed in Access’ Annual Reports on Form 10-K and other reports filed by Access with the Securities and Exchange Commission.”

Quoted Source66% of evaluable heavily-pretreated patients in the high dose groups achieved disease stabilization. ProLindac was well tolerated, Press Release, lAccess Pharmaceuticals, Inc., March 5, 2009.

2009 Society of Gynecologic Oncologists Annual Meeting Ovarian Cancer Highlights

From February 5th through 8th, 2009, the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists’ (SGO) held its 40th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in San Antonio, Texas. The meeting, viewed as the preeminent scientific and educational conference for women’s cancer care specialists, featured more than 350 scientific oral and poster presentations as well as educational sessions dealing with advances in the care and treatment of women’s cancers.

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From February 5th through 8th, 2009, the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists‘ (SGO)  held its 40th Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in San Antonio, Texas.  The meeting, viewed as the preeminent scientific and educational conference for women’s cancer care specialists, featured more than 350 scientific oral and poster presentations as well as educational sessions dealing with advances in the care and treatment of women’s cancers.  Several important presentations relating to ovarian cancer were made during the meeting and are highlighted below:

  • SGO: IVF Confers Slight Long-Term Risk of Ovarian Cancer, by Charles Bankhead, Medical News from SGO: Society of Gynecologic Oncologists Meeting, February 6, 2009 [Presentation Source:  Burger C, et al; The risk of borderline and invasive ovarian tumors after ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization in a large Dutch cohort after 15 years of follow-up, SGO 2009; 112(Suppl 1): Abstract 6].
  • SGO: Optimal Surgery Holds Benefits in Ovarian Cancer with Upper Abdominal Disease, by Charles Bankhead, Medical News from SGO: Society of Gynecologic Oncologists Meeting, February 6, 2009 [Presentation Source:  Zivanovic O, et al; Upper abdominal disease cephalad to the greater omentum and the impact on progression-free survival in patients with stage IIIC ovarian cancer;  SGO 2009; 112(Suppl 1): Abstract 1].
  • SGO: Rectovaginal Nodules Predict Bowel Perforation Risk with Bevacizumab, by Charles Bankhead, Medical News from SGO: Society of Gynecologic Oncologists Meeting, February 9, 2009 [Presentation Source:  Richardson DL, et al; Which factors predict bowel complications in patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer being treated with bevacizumab? SGO 2009; 112(Suppl 1): Abstract 41].
  • Low Completion Rates for GOG 172 Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy Regimen: See Aletti G, et al Intraperitoneal chemotherapy for ovarian cancer: Exploring the “dark side” of the moon” SGO 2009; 112(Suppl 1): Abstract 40 (Source:  SGO: Few Ovarian Cancer Patients Tolerate Intraperitoneal Regimen, by Charles Bankhead, Medical News from SGO: Society of Gynecologic Oncologists Meeting, February 11, 2009).
  • Vermillion Presents Critical Data From Its OVA1 Clinical Trial, Vermillion Inc. News Release, February 10, 2009 [Presentation based upon a study entitled, A biomarker panel for distinguishing between malignant and benign ovarian tumors, which was co-authored by Fred Ueland, MD, Associate Professor of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Kentucky and Principal Investigator of the OVA1 clinical trial, and Zhen Zhang, PhD, Associate Professor of Pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine as well as Vermillion scientists].

About the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists

The SGO is a national medical specialty organization of physicians who are trained in the comprehensive management of women with malignancies of the reproductive tract. Its purpose is to improve the care of women with gynecologic cancer by encouraging research, disseminating knowledge which will raise the standards of practice in the prevention and treatment of gynecologic malignancies, and cooperating with other organizations interested in women’s health care, oncology and related fields. The Society’s membership, totaling more than 1280, is primarily comprised of gynecologic oncologists, as well as other related medical specialists including medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and pathologists. SGO members provide multidisciplinary cancer treatment including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery and supportive care. More information on the SGO can be found at http://www.sgo.org.