Galera Announces Topline Results from Phase 2a AESOP Trial of Avasopasem for Chemoradiotherapy-Induced Esophagitis
Incidence of Grade 3 esophagitis substantially reduced in patients treated with avasopasem compared to literature
Malvern, PA. -- No Grade 4 or 5 esophagitis in patients treated with avasopasem
Galera Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: GRTX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing a pipeline of novel, proprietary therapeutics that have the potential to transform radiotherapy in cancer, today announced topline results from the six-week, Phase 2a, open-label, single-arm AESOP trial of avasopasem evaluating its ability to reduce the incidence of severe acute radiation-induced esophagitis in patients with lung cancer receiving concurrent chemoradiotherapy.
The multicenter Phase 2a trial enrolled 39 patients (62 screened) with unresectable Stage 3A/3B or post-operative Stage 2B non-small cell (NSCLC) or limited-stage small cell (SCLC) lung cancers. Thirty-five patients completed treatment with 60 gray of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) plus chemotherapy over six weeks. Of these 35 patients, 29 received at least five weeks of 90 mg of avasopasem on the days they underwent IMRT. These 29 patients were evaluated as the pre-specified per protocol population. Patients enrolled in this trial were considered at high risk for developing esophagitis due to the amount of radiation planned to be delivered to the esophagus.1 Patients were assessed and classified according to NCI-CTCAE criteria.2
Incidence of esophagitis by grade and timepoint in the AESOP trial (per protocol, n=29):
Only two of the 29 patients (7%) experienced Grade 3 esophagitis at any time, with neither patient experiencing Grade 3 for more than one week. No patients experienced Grade 4 or 5 esophagitis at any point during the trial. These data compare favorably to the literature in which approximately 20-30 percent of these patients experienced Grade 3 or 4 esophagitis.3 Avasopasem was generally well tolerated. The adverse events experienced are comparable to those expected with chemoradiotherapy.
“These encouraging results demonstrate avasopasem’s potential to meaningfully reduce radiotherapy-induced Grade 3 or worse esophagitis,” said Mel Sorensen, M.D., Galera’s President and CEO. “Patients with lung cancer undergoing chemoradiotherapy are at high risk of severe and potentially life-threatening esophagitis, including an inability to eat or swallow, severe pain, ulceration, infection, bleeding and weight loss, and there are no established drug therapies. Following the positive Phase 3 results of avasopasem in radiotherapy-induced severe oral mucositis (SOM), we believe these results in esophagitis support the safety and efficacy of avasopasem as a potential therapy to prevent the most severe forms of radiotherapy-induced toxicities.”
Approximately 50,000 lung cancer patients undergo standard-of-care chemoradiotherapy every year in the U.S. and are at risk of developing esophagitis.
About Radiotherapy-Induced Esophagitis
Radiotherapy-induced esophagitis is a common and debilitating adverse effect that develops in patients receiving radiotherapy, most commonly for lung, esophageal, breast or head and neck cancers or for lymphoma. Radiotherapy-induced esophagitis is inflammation, edema, erythema, and erosion of the mucosal surface of the esophagus caused by radiotherapy. Esophagitis can be life-threatening, and symptoms include an inability to swallow, severe pain, ulceration, infection, bleeding and weight loss and may require hospitalization. There are currently no FDA-approved drugs and no established guidelines for the treatment of radiotherapy-induced esophagitis.
Avasopasem manganese (avasopasem, or GC4419) is a selective small molecule dismutase mimetic in development for the reduction of radiation-induced severe oral mucositis (SOM) in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer (HNC) and for the reduction of radiation-induced esophagitis in patients with lung cancer. The FDA has granted Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy designations to avasopasem for the reduction of SOM induced by radiotherapy, with or without systemic therapy.
About the Phase 2a AESOP Trial
The AESOP trial is an open-label, multicenter trial designed to evaluate the ability of avasopasem to reduce the incidence of radiotherapy-induced esophagitis in patients receiving chemoradiotherapy for unresectable Stage 3A/3B or post-operative Stage 2B non-small cell lung cancer, or small cell lung cancer treatable with chemoradiotherapy.
About Galera Therapeutics
Galera Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing a pipeline of novel, proprietary therapeutic candidates that have the potential to transform radiotherapy in cancer. Galera’s selective dismutase mimetic product candidate avasopasem manganese (GC4419, also referred to as avasopasem) is being evaluated for radiotherapy-induced toxicities. The Company’s second product candidate, rucosopasem manganese (GC4711, also referred to as rucosopasem), is in clinical-stage development to augment the anti-cancer efficacy of stereotactic body radiation therapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer and locally advanced pancreatic cancer. Galera is headquartered in Malvern, PA.