Shanghai, China, June 15, 2021 – Asieris Pharmaceuticals (Asieris) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Investigational New Drug (IND) application of oral APL-1202 in combination with BeiGene’s tislelizumab as neoadjuvant therapy in patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). Asieris will accelerate the initiation of the clinical trial enrollment in the U.S. and also file a Clinical Trial Application (CTA) to the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of China in the near future.
This is an open-label, multi-center Phase I/II clinical study with the following objectives: to evaluate the safety in MIBC patients; to determine the RP2D (recommended Phase 2 dose), and to assess efficacy as neoadjuvant therapy for MIBC.
APL-1202 is an orally available reversible MetAP2 Inhibitor with anti-angiogenic, anti-tumor activities and can also modulate tumor immune microenvironment. It is currently in Phase III/pivotal clinical trials in China, either as single agent as first-line treatment for patients with intermediate-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), or in combination with a chemotherapy as second-line treatment in patients with intermediate and high-risk chemo-refractory NMIBC. Tislelizumab is a humanized IgG4 anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody specifically designed to minimize binding to FcγR on macrophages. The China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) has granted tislelizumab approval in three indications, including full approval for first-line treatment of patients with advanced squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in combination with chemotherapy; and conditional approval for the treatment of patients with classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cHL) who received at least two prior therapies and for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC) with PD-L1 high expression whose disease progressed during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy. Full approval for these indications is contingent upon results from ongoing randomized, controlled confirmatory clinical trials.
According to the 2020 Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO) Guidelines for Diagnosis and Treatment of Urothelial Carcinoma, the Level I recommendation for MIBC is that patients who tolerate cisplatin undergo radical cystectomy (RC) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The commonly used chemotherapy regimen is gemcitabine plus cisplatin (GC). However, cisplatin can cause serious side effects such as renal dysfunction, peripheral neuropathy, and bone marrow suppression, and some patients are intolerant. Patients with intolerance to cisplatin don’t have any preoperative/neoadjuvant therapy that can bring survival benefits.
“We are very pleased that FDA approved the IND application for oral APL-1202 in combination with tislelizumab as a neoadjuvant therapy in MIBC patients,” said Dr. Xue Yong, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer at Asieris. “The approval is expected to accelerate the clinical development, and Asieris will conitnue to explore cutting-edge technologies and therapeutics in our focused areas to meet the urgent medical needs and establish an outstanding portfolio that covers diagnosis and treatment to benefit more patients. ”
Asieris Pharmaceuticals, founded in March 2010, is a global innovative pharma company specializing in new drugs for the treatment of genitourinary tumors and other major diseases. We strive to improve human health and help people live a more dignified life. We aim to become a global pharma leader that integrates R&D, manufacturing and commercialization in our areas of focus, as we provide best-in-class integrated diagnosis and treatment solutions for patients in China and worldwide.The company has been developing its proprietary R&D platform and core technologies, exploring new mechanisms of action, and efficiently screening and evaluating drug candidates. With a well-established in-house R&D system and expertise in global drug development, Asieris is committed to launching first-in-class drugs and other innovative products to address huge unmet needs in its areas of focus. Asieris is also enhancing its pipeline for genitourinary diseases via proprietary R&D and strategic partnerships, while closely following cutting-edge technologies and therapeutics. The company strives to discover and identify unmet clinical needs, and adopts a forward-looking approach in product planning and life-cycle management. We aim to establish an outstanding portfolio that covers diagnosis and treatment in a bid to benefit more patients in China and globally.