- Orphan Drug designation allows RedHill to benefit from various development incentives to develop YELIVA® (ABC294640) for cholangiocarcinoma, as well as a seven-year marketing exclusivity period for the indication, if approved for marketing
- A Phase IIa clinical study with YELIVA® in patients with advanced, unresectable, intrahepatic and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma is planned to be initiated in the third quarter of 2017
- Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) is a highly lethal malignancy for which there is a strong need for more effective systemic treatments; the 5-year relative survival rate for patients with cholangiocarcinoma ranges between 2% to 30%, depending on the tumor type and stage at diagnosis
- A Phase I study with YELIVA® in patients with advanced solid tumors successfully met its primary and secondary endpoints;of the three cholangiocarcinoma patients in the Phase I study, one patient had a sustained partial response and the other two had prolonged stable disease
- RedHill is pursuing several Phase I/II clinical studies with YELIVA®, targeting multiple oncology and inflammatory indications, some of which are supported by National Cancer Institute (NCI) grants awarded to Apogee Biotechnology and U.S. universities
- YELIVA® is a proprietary, first-in-class, orally-administered sphingosine kinase-2 (SK2) selective inhibitor, with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activities
RedHill Biopharma Ltd.,a specialty biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on the development and commercialization of late clinical-stage, proprietary, orally-administered, small molecule drugs for gastrointestinal and inflammatory diseases and cancer, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted YELIVA® (ABC294640) Orphan Drug designation for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma.
The Orphan Drug designation allows RedHill to benefit from various development incentives to develop YELIVA® for this indication, including tax credits for qualified clinical testing, waiver of a prescription drug user fee (PDUFA fee) upon submission of a potential marketing application and, if approved, a seven-year marketing exclusivity period for the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma.
YELIVA® is a Phase II-stage, proprietary, first-in-class, orally-administered sphingosine kinase-2 (SK2) selective inhibitor with anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities, targeting multiple oncology, inflammatory and gastrointestinal indications. By inhibiting the SK2 enzyme, YELIVA® blocks the synthesis of sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), a lipid signaling molecule that promotes cancer growth and pathological inflammation.
Mark L. Levitt, MD, PhD, RedHill’s Medical Director, Oncology, said: “Cholangiocarcinoma is a cancer with a poor prognosis. Patients suffering from this disease have very few treatment options, and they are of limited efficacy. Based on promising preclinical data, as well as results from three previously treated cholangiocarcinoma patients who took part in the Phase I study with YELIVA®, we are hopeful that YELIVA® could potentially provide a much-needed new treatment option for patients. We are very pleased with the Orphan Drug designation and are advancing our preparations for a Phase IIa study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of YELIVA® in patient suffering from unresectable, intrahepatic and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, which we plan to initiate in the third quarter of this year.”
Cholangiocarcinoma (bile duct cancer) is a highly lethal malignancy for which there is a strong need for more effective systemic treatments. Approximately 8,000 people are diagnosed with intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile duct cancers annually in the U.S.(1), with recent studies showing an increased incidence of cholangiocarcinoma, mainly attributed to recent advancements in diagnosis of this disease(2). Surgery with complete resection remains the only curative therapy for cholangiocarcinoma, however only a minority of patients are classified as having a resectable tumor at the time of diagnosis(3). Additional treatment options include radiation therapy and chemotherapy; however, the efficacy of these treatments in cholangiocarcinoma patients is also limited. Despite overall advances in the ability to diagnose and treat patients with cholangiocarcinoma, the prognosis for these relapse patients who have failed initial chemotherapy remains very poor, with an overall median survival of approximately one year(4). The 5-year relative survival rates of intrahepatic and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma patients range between 2% to 30%, depending on the tumor type and stage at diagnosis(5).
Final results from the Phase I study with YELIVA® in patients with advanced solid tumors confirmed that the study, conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Hollings Cancer Center, successfully met its primary and secondary endpoints, demonstrating that the drug is well-tolerated and can be safely administered to cancer patients at doses that provide circulating drug levels that are predicted to have therapeutic activity.
Of the three patients with cholangiocarcinoma treated in the Phase I study, all of whom had prior therapy, one subject achieved a sustained partial response (Overall Survival (OS) = 20.3 months) and the other two subjects had prolonged stable disease (OS = 17.6 and 16.3 months).
RedHill plans to initiate a Phase IIa clinical study with YELIVA® in patients with advanced, unresectable, intrahepatic and extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma in the third quarter of 2017. The single-arm study will evaluate YELIVA® as a single agent in cholangiocarcinoma patients with a primary endpoint of determining the response rate of cholangiocarcinoma to this treatment.
A Phase II study with YELIVA® for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is ongoing at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center. The study is supported by a $1.8 million grant from the NCI, awarded to MUSC, which is intended to fund a broad range of studies on the feasibility of targeting sphingolipid metabolism for the treatment of a variety of solid tumor cancers, with additional support from RedHill.
A Phase Ib/II study with YELIVA® for the treatment of refractory or relapsed multiple myeloma is ongoing at Duke University Medical Center. The study is supported by a $2 million grant from the NCI Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) awarded to Apogee Biotechnology Corp. (Apogee), in conjunction with Duke University, with additional support from RedHill.
A Phase I/II clinical study evaluating YELIVA® in patients with refractory/relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma as well as Kaposi sarcoma patients is ongoing at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. The study is supported by a grant from the NCI awarded to Apogee, with additional support from RedHill.
A Phase Ib study to evaluate YELIVA® as a radioprotectant for prevention of mucositis in head and neck cancer patients undergoing therapeutic radiotherapy is planned to be initiated in the third quarter of 2017.
A Phase II study to evaluate the efficacy of YELIVA® in patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis is planned to be initiated in the second half of 2017.