AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Jan. 25, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Oncotelic Therapeutics, Inc (OTCQB:OTLC) (“Oncotelic”, the “Company” or “We”), a clinical stage biotechnology company, with a planned IPO of its JV this year, today announced that it has submitted a clinical study protocol to the US Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for the initiation of a Phase 2b/3 Trial (designated “P201”) for OT-101, the Company’s transforming growth factor beta 2 (“TGF-β2”) inhibitor, as a treatment for metastatic pancreatic cancer.
P201: A Randomized Phase 2b/Phase 3 Study of the TGF-β2 Targeting Antisense Oligonucleotide OT-101 in Combination with FOLFOX Compared with FOLFOX Alone as Second-Line Therapy in Patients with Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer that has Progressed During or Following a First-Line Gemcitabine-Containing Regimen.
OT-101 is a first-in-class anti-TGF-β2 ribonucleic acid (“RNA”) therapeutic that has exhibited single agent activity in relapsed/refractory cancer patients in multiple clinical trials. OT-101 has also demonstrated activity against the COVID-19 virus in our Phase 2 clinical trial- C001.
“Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related mortality with a 5-year survival rate of approximately 10%. Incidence of pancreatic cancer has been steadily increasing despite advances in immunotherapy. Many well known names have succumbed to pancreatic cancer including Apple’s Steve Jobs and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ” said Dr. Vuong Trieu, CEO Oncotelic. “We are initiating late-stage clinical trials around pancreatic cancer and are excite to work with leading thought leaders to bring OT-101 to patients”
About OT-101 Pancreatic Cancer Program
Pancreatic cancer is associated with the poorest prognosis of gastrointestinal cancers and is expected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality in the USA by 2030. Globally, over 400,000 people die of pancreatic cancer each year. Pancreatic cancer is traditionally considered to be an immune-resistant disease. There is a lack of effector T cells, an abundance of myeloid-derived suppressor T cells, and a dearth of key immune effector and regulatory cells. This may be part of the reason why single-agent checkpoint inhibitors are not as effective in comparison to other diseases. Here is where breaking immune tolerance by inhibiting TGF-β with OT-101 will have a significant impact.
The P001 trial was an open-label, multicenter dose-escalation study to evaluate the safety and tolerability of OT-101 (TGF-β2-specific Phosphorothioate Antisense Oligodeoxynucleotide) in adult patients with advanced tumors known to overproduce TGF- β2, which are not or no longer amenable to established therapies. Of the 61 patients treated, 37 had advanced treatment failure pancreas cancer, a very difficult-to-treat cancer with an overall survival rate that is measured in months even with the best available chemotherapy regimens. Disease control (complete response (CR)), partial response (PR) or stable disease (SD)) was achieved in 19 of 35 evaluable pancreas cancer patients (54%). Among liver mets only patients, there are exceptional single-agent activity and survival. Patient 1006 was pushed to complete response (CR) and survived as far out as 77 mos. This patient failed multiple lines of therapies: (1) surgery: Whipple’s procedure, (2) 1st line: 5-FU/LV, Dose 425 mg/m2, (3) 2nd line: 5-FU/LV, Dose 2600 mg/m2/24hr, (4) 3rd line: Gemcitabine, Dose 1000 mg/m2/week, and (5) went on to OT-101 with liver mets and complete response. Patient 1022 was pushed to stable disease (“SD”) with overall survival of 40 months. This patient had also failed multiple lines of therapies: (1) surgery: Whipple’s procedure, (2) 1st line: radiation therapy (50 Gy), (3) 2nd line: 5FU, and (4) went on to OT-101 with liver mets and SD.
OT-101, is a first-in-class anti-TGF-β2 RNA therapeutic that exhibited single agent activity in some relapsed/refractory cancer patients in clinical trial settings. HGGs are characterized by a T-cell exhaustion signature and pronounced T-cell hypo responsiveness of their tumor microenvironment (“TME”). TGF-β2 has been implicated as a key contributor to the immunosuppressive landscape of the TME in HGG. OT-101 is designed to abrogate the immunosuppressive actions of TGF- β2. In a completed Phase 2 clinical study, OT-101 exhibited clinically meaningful single-agent activity and induced durable complete and partial responses in recurrent and refractory adult HGG patients, including young adults with Glioblastoma Multiforme or Amyloidosis.
OT-101 has been granted orphan designation by the FDA under the Orphan Drug Act (“ODA”). ODA provides for granting special status to a drug to treat a rare disease or condition upon request of a drug company. Orphan designation qualifies the sponsor of the drug for various development incentives of the ODA, including tax credits for qualified clinical testing. OT-101 also been granted Rare Pediatric Designation for DIPG. The FDA grants rare pediatric disease designation for diseases with serious or life-threatening manifestations that primarily affect people aged from birth to 18 years, and that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. Under the FDA’s Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher program, a sponsor who receives an approval of a new drug application or biologics license application for a product for the prevention or treatment of a rare pediatric disease may be eligible for a voucher, which can be redeemed to obtain priority review for any subsequent marketing application and may be sold or transferred.
As previously reported, on March 31, 2022, we entered into a joint venture, or JV, with Dragon Overseas Capital Ltd. (Dragon Overseas) and GMP Biotechnology Ltd. (GMP Bio). The JV and Oncotelic will develop and ultimately market OT-101, individually and/or in combination with other products. Oncotelic would receive up to $50 million on sale of the RPD voucher, following marketing approval of OT-101 for diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG, by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Oncotelic’s Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this communication regarding strategy, future operations, future financial position, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. Words such as “may”, “expect”, “anticipate” “hope”, “vision”, “optimism”, “design”, “exciting”, “promising”, “will”, “conviction”, “estimate,” “intend,” “believe”, “quest for a cure of cancer”, “innovation-driven”, “paradigm-shift”, “high scientific merit”, “impact potential” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements about future plans related to the operations of the JV, taking the JV into an initial public offering or the success thereof, the progress, timing of clinical development, scope and success of future clinical trials, the reporting of clinical data for the company’s product candidates and the potential use of the company’s product candidates to treat various cancer indications as well as obtaining required regulatory approval to conduct clinical trials and upon granting of approval by the regulatory agencies, the successful marketing of the products; building and the success of our nanoparticle platform and the related success of launching the platform, the success of the launch of a company with a DAO infrastructure, the success of the entity and the plans surrounding the pet and animal health, the ability for the Company to register the tokens of Pet2Dao, the actual filing of a registration statement and approval of the tokens as registrable securities with the SEC through a registration statement, the ability of the tokens to be tradable or any value such tokens may have if they become tradable.. Each of these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements or may not occur at all. Many factors may cause differences between current expectations and actual results, including unexpected safety or efficacy data observed during preclinical or clinical studies, clinical trial site activation or enrollment rates that are lower than expected, changes in expected or existing competition, changes in the regulatory environment, failure of collaborators to support or advance collaborations or product candidates and unexpected litigation or other disputes, taking the Company or its affiliates through initial public offerings. These risks are not exhaustive, the company faces known and unknown risks, including the risk factors described in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on April 15, 2022 and in the company’s other periodic filings. Forward-looking statements are based on expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Except as required by law, the company does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in expectations, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
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