SAN DIEGO, Nov. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- MEI Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: MEIP), an oncology company focused on the clinical development of novel therapies for cancer, announced today that preliminary data from a pilot Phase II clinical trial of the Company's investigational oral histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, Pracinostat, in combination with azacitidine in patients with advanced myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) has been accepted for poster presentation at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting on December 10, 2012.
An abstract of the presentation, entitled "Very high rates of clinical and cytogenetic response with the combination of the histone deacetylase inhibitor Pracinostat (SB939) and 5-azacitidine in high-risk myelodysplastic syndrome," submitted by Dr. Quintas-Cardama and Dr. Garcia-Manero of the MD Anderson Cancer Center, is now available online at www.hematology.org. The poster will be presented at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time from Hall B1-B2, Level 1, Building B of the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.
"We are very encouraged not only by the response rates reported to date, but also by the rapid appearance of the responses with the combination of Pracinostat and azacitidine," said Daniel P. Gold, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of MEI Pharma. "These data are particularly compelling given that most patients in the study had treatment-related MDS and expressed high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities, both of which carry a poor prognosis. With these data in hand, combined with the capital raise we announced yesterday, we expect to be in a position to rapidly advance to the next stage of development and initiate a randomized Phase II trial of Pracinostat in combination with azacitidine in patients with MDS by the second quarter of next year."
Pracinostat is a selective inhibitor of a group of enzymes called histone deacetylases (HDAC). There are currently two HDAC inhibitors approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, one of which is also approved for the treatment of peripheral T-cell lymphoma. Pracinostat has shown evidence of single-agent activity in multiple clinical trials, including advanced hematologic malignancies such as MDS, acute myeloid leukemia and myelofibrosis. Pracinostat has also demonstrated pre-clinical activity in hematologic disorders and solid tumors when used alone or in combination with a wide range of therapies in laboratory studies. Pracinostat has been generally well tolerated in clinical testing of more than 150 patients, with readily manageable side effects often associated with drugs of this class. The most common adverse event (all grades) is fatigue. Pracinostat has not been approved by the FDA for commercial distribution.
About MEI Pharma
MEI Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: MEIP) is a San Diego-based oncology company focused on the clinical development of novel therapies for cancer. The Company's clinical development pipeline includes lead drug candidate Pracinostat, a potential best-in-class HDAC inhibitor. Pracinostat has been tested in multiple Phase I and exploratory Phase II clinical trials, including advanced hematologic malignancies such as MDS, acute myeloid leukemia and myelofibrosis. The Company expects to initiate a randomized Phase II trial of Pracinostat in combination with azacitidine in patients with MDS by the second quarter of 2013. In addition, MEI Pharma is developing two drug candidates derived from its isoflavone-based technology platform, ME-143 and ME-344. Results from a Phase I trial of intravenous ME-143 in heavily treated patients with solid refractory tumors were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in June 2012. A Phase I clinical trial of intravenous ME-344 in patients with solid refractory tumors is ongoing. For more information, go to www.meipharma.com.
Under U.S. law, a new drug cannot be marketed until it has been investigated in clinical trials and approved by the FDA as being safe and effective for the intended use. Statements included in this press release that are not historical in nature are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You should be aware that our actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements, which are based on management's current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, our failure to successfully commercialize our product candidates; costs and delays in the development and/or FDA approval, or the failure to obtain such approval, of our product candidates; uncertainties or differences in interpretation in clinical trial results; our inability to maintain or enter into, and the risks resulting from our dependence upon, collaboration or contractual arrangements necessary for the development, manufacture, commercialization, marketing, sales and distribution of any products; competitive factors; our inability to protect our patents or proprietary rights and obtain necessary rights to third party patents and intellectual property to operate our business; our inability to operate our business without infringing the patents and proprietary rights of others; general economic conditions; the failure of any products to gain market acceptance; our inability to obtain any additional required financing; technological changes; government regulation; changes in industry practice; and one-time events. We do not intend to update any of these factors or to publicly announce the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements.
SOURCE MEI Pharma, Inc.