4SC’s domatinostat (4SC-202) begins Phase II gastrointestinal cancer clinical trial
Clinical centers of investigator-sponsored EMERGE study are open for patient recruitment
Planegg-Martinsried, Germany, 14 January 2019 – 4SC AG (4SC, FSE Prime Standard: VSC) today announced that the first clinical centers of the investigator-sponsored Phase II study EMERGE are open for patient recruitment. The study is conducted by Prof. David Cunningham, MD FRCP FMedSci, Head of the Gastrointestinal and Lymphoma Unit and Director of Clinical Research at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust (London, UK).
The multi-center, single-arm, open-label study examines domatinostat (formerly 4SC-202) plus checkpoint inhibitor avelumab in up to 70 patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer – precisely microsatellite-stable esophago-gastric and colorectal (MSS-GI) cancer. The study is intended to establish the safety of combining domatinostat with avelumab as well as to generate proof-of-concept clinical data in this patient population.
Prof. Cunningham said: “Although checkpoint inhibitors are very successful in various solid tumor indications, MSS-GI cancer has proven to be largely therapy-resistant to these. The EMERGE study will seek to address this high medical need by using domatinostat to render the tumor tissue susceptible to avelumab. We need to study more drug candidates like domatinostat, which aim to broaden the efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors when used in combination.”
Jason Loveridge, Ph.D., CEO of 4SC, added: “We are happy to support investigator-sponsored research conducted by third parties on our drug candidates. This research can provide valuable information regarding the safety, efficacy, pharmacology and tolerability of 4SC’s drug candidates and supplement the data generated in our own clinical studies. We are very proud that Prof. Cunningham, a widely respected expert in the field, chose to perform the EMERGE study with domatinostat and we are looking forward to the outcome.”
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About domatinostat (4SC-202)
Domatinostat is an orally administered small molecule Class I selective HDAC inhibitor with a unique mode of action that was designed to strengthen the body’s own anti-tumor immune response. Domatinostat also influences the tumor microenvironment facilitating infiltration of immune cells into the tumor and making it more visible to the immune system.
Domatinostat has been investigated in a Phase I study with 24 heavily pretreated patients with several types of advanced hematologic cancers and was well tolerated. Positive signs of anti-tumor efficacy were also observed; with one complete remission (28 months) and one partial responder (8 months).
In addition to its therapeutic potential in cancer monotherapy, 4SC is evaluating domatinostat’s capacity as a partner in combination therapies, specifically in the immuno-oncology area. In this respect, 4SC initiated a Phase Ib/II study of domatinostat in combination with the anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab in patients with advanced-stage melanoma. A second Phase II study of domatinostat in combination with the anti-PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor avelumab in patients with advanced-stage microsatellite-stable gastrointestinal cancer is conducted by Prof. David Cunningham of The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust (London, UK).
As soon as results from the aforementioned trials will be available, 4SC plans to advance domatinostat into a potentially pivotal study in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor in PD-(L)1 refractory patients with advanced Merkel-cell carcinoma (MCC).
4SC AG is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing small-molecule drugs that can target key indications in cancer with high unmet medical needs. 4SC’s pipeline is protected by a comprehensive portfolio of patents and currently comprises three key drug candidates in various stages of preclinical and clinical development: resminostat, domatinostat (4SC-202) and 4SC-208.
4SC aims to generate future growth and enhance its enterprise value by entering into partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotech companies and/or the eventual marketing and sales of approved drugs in select territories by 4SC itself.
4SC is headquartered in Planegg-Martinsried near Munich, Germany. The Company had 46 employees as of 30 September 2018 and is listed on the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE Prime Standard: VSC; ISIN: DE000A14KL72).
Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of 4SC as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond 4SC’s control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. 4SC expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in its expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.