Results show high rates of Relapse Free Survival and Overall Survival in pediatric patients with acute leukemias with median follow-up of 17 months
SAN DIEGO, Dec. 02, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLCM), a leader in developing novel, controllable cellular immunotherapies for cancers and orphan inherited blood disorders, today announced additional follow-up results from a subset of children with high-risk/relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The data showed durable anti-leukemic effects in patients treated with rivo-celTM (rivogenlecleucel, formerly BPX-501) following αβT-cell and B-cell depleted allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The data were reviewed in an oral presentation today at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH 2018) by Principal Investigator Franco Locatelli, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Department of Hematology and Oncology and Cell/Gene Therapy at Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù in Rome, Italy.
“Cancer recurrence is one of the primary factors affecting the success rate of allogeneic HSCT. Rivo-cel appears to lower the rate of cancer recurrence in children receiving αβT-cell and B-cell depleted allogeneic HSCT—suggesting that the diverse population of donor T cells in rivo-cel product may reduce or eliminate residual cancer cells,” said Dr. Locatelli. “Moreover, while you might expect to see Graft versus Host Disease with this approach, the overall rates were low and rimiducid was effective for most patients who developed visceral GvHD or who were refractory to standard of care treatment for GvHD. These encouraging data support the potential of rivo-cel as an important treatment for children with blood cancers who need a stem cell transplant and lack a matched donor.”
Study Design and Highlights
Investigators evaluated the safety and efficacy of rivo-cel administered after an αβT-cell and B-cell depleted haploidentical HSCT (haplo-HSCT) in pediatric patients with high-risk/relapsed acute leukemias in morphological complete remission (CR). The objective was to determine whether rivo-cel could extend relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) via graft versus leukemia (GvL) effect, while maintaining a low-risk of GvHD. 100 AML and ALL HSCT patients were evaluated for safety. 95 of 100 patients received rivo-cel treatment and therefore were eligible for efficacy evaluation. Patients had a median follow-up of 17 months. Results are summarized as follows:
n = 52
n = 43
- 21 of 96 evaluable patients developed Grade I-IV acute GvHD (21.9%); 3 patients developed Grade III-IV acute GvHD (3.1% [95% CI: 0 – 6.6%])
- 9 cases of late-onset aGVHD occurred after 100 days (2 cases of Grade III)
- 7 of 89 evaluable patients developed chronic GvHD (10.9% [95% CI: 2.1-19.6%]), with moderate-severe cases in 5 of these patients
Rimiducid treatment outcomes:
- Of the 37 patients who developed GvHD, rimiducid was administered to 11 patients
- Best overall response (within 7 days) was seen in 73% (8 patients); 5 responding patients had a complete response (CR) and 2 patients with a partial response (PR) went on to achieve a complete response within 30 days following rimiducid administration
Commented Rick Fair, President & CEO of Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, “We are extremely pleased by these data, which suggest rivo-cel may be a potent and durable leukemia treatment when added to stem cell transplant. We plan to continue to follow these patients to further evaluate durability. In addition, based on these exciting results, we are in final stages of initiating a global Phase 2/3 trial in patients 12 years and older with AML and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) by the end of the year.”
A copy of the ASH presentation will be made available in the Abstracts & Presentations section of the Company’s website.
Analyst and Investor Luncheon Event and Webcast
Bellicum will host a live and webcast analyst and investor luncheon event on December 3, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. PST in San Diego, CA. Featured speakers include Dr. Alice Bertaina, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Stem Cell Transplantation, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at the Stanford School of Medicine, as well as Bellicum senior management. A webcast replay of the event will be available on the News & Events section of the Bellicum website, and available for at least two weeks following the event.
About Rivo-cel (BPX-501)
Rivo-celTM (rivogenlecleucel) is an allogeneic polyclonal T-cell product designed to accelerate immune recovery after HSCT and to reduce relapse of leukemia following a stem cell transplant. The cell treatment contains a diverse repertoire of T cells which may contribute to a robust graft vs. leukemia effect. Rivo-cel’s antiviral benefits may also reduce morbidity and mortality in patients susceptible to infection following a transplant. The product’s CaspaCIDe® safety switch enables this approach by allowing physicians to reduce the number of alloreactive cells in the event of uncontrolled GvHD. Rivo-cel addresses a major unmet need in adult and pediatric leukemia, lymphoma and genetic blood disease patients following a haploidentical stem cell transplant.
About Bellicum Pharmaceuticals
Bellicum is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company striving to deliver cures through controllable cell therapies. The Company’s next-generation product candidates are differentiated by powerful cell signaling technologies designed to produce more effective CAR-T, TCR and allogeneic T cell therapies. Its lead product candidate, rivo-celTM, is an allogeneic polyclonal T cell therapy that has shown promising clinical trial results in reducing leukemia relapse after a stem cell transplant. Bellicum’s lead GoCAR-T® candidate, BPX-601, is designed to be a more efficacious CAR-T cell product capable of overriding key immune inhibitory mechanisms. More information can be found at www.bellicum.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions, beliefs, projections, outlook, analyses or current expectations concerning, among other things: our research and development activities relating to rivo-celTM and rimiducid; the effectiveness of rivo-cel, its possible ranges of application and potential curative effects and safety in the treatment of diseases, including as compared to other treatment options and competitive therapies; the timing and success of our current and planned clinical trials, including the timing of receipt of data from such clinical trials and the timing of our reports of such data; the timing and success of regulatory filings; our ability to build a successful commercial organization in Europe; the presentation of our preclinical and clinical data at medical or scientific meetings and our cash uses and cash runway. Various factors may cause differences between Bellicum’s expectations and actual results as discussed in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors” in Bellicum’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including without limitation our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended September 30, 2018 and our annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017. Any forward-looking statements that Bellicum makes in this press release speak only as of the date of this press release. Bellicum assumes no obligation to update our forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release.
Source: Bellicum Pharmaceuticals