RedHill Biopharma Announces Research Collaboration With Stanford University For YELIVA

Published: Sep 12, 2016

Tel-Aviv, Israel, September 12, 2016 / B3C newswire / -- RedHill Biopharma Ltd. (NASDAQ: RDHL) (TASE: RDHL) (“RedHill” or the “Company”), a biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on development and commercialization of late clinical-stage, proprietary, orally-administered, small molecule drugs for gastrointestinal and inflammatory diseases and cancer, today announced a research collaboration with Stanford University School of Medicine (“Stanford”) for the evaluation of RedHill’s proprietary Phase II-stage drug, YELIVA™ (ABC294640).

The research collaboration is intended to complement RedHill’s planned Phase Ib clinical study to evaluate YELIVA™ as a radioprotectant for prevention of mucositis in head and neck cancer patients undergoing therapeutic radiotherapy.

As part of the collaboration, Stanford will evaluate the effect of YELIVA™ on mucositis reduction and tumor control in a murine model of head and neck cancer. YELIVA™ will be administered in combination with a chemotherapy agent and radiotherapy, similar to the design of RedHill’s planned radioprotectant Phase Ib clinical study with YELIVA™, expected to run in parallel with the Stanford research collaboration. Results from the research collaboration are expected in mid-2017.

The Stanford research collaboration is led by Dr. Quynh-Thu Le, MD, a radiation oncologist, Chair of the Stanford Radiation Oncology Department, Co-Director of the Radiation Biology Program of the Stanford Cancer Institute and the Chair of the Head and Neck Cancer Committee of the NRG Oncology Group, part of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) supported National Clinical Trial Network (NCTN).

YELIVA™ is a proprietary, first-in-class, orally-administered, sphingosine kinase-2 (SK2) selective inhibitor with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory activities. 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.

RedHill is pursuing with YELIVA™ multiple clinical programs in oncology, inflammatory and gastrointestinal indications. RedHill is evaluating potential clinical studies for additional oncology and inflammatory indications, as well as potential collaboration opportunities to evaluate YELIVA™ as an add-on therapy.

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), 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.

Among the 16 subjects that were assessable for response by RECIST 1.1 criteria (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors), one subject had a partial response with a progression-free survival of 16.9 months, and six subjects had stable disease with a progression-free survival of between 3.5 and 17.6 months. Of the three patients with cholangiocarcinoma, one had a partial response and the other two had stable disease, one for over a year. YELIVA™ was well-tolerated over a prolonged period at doses inducing the expected pharmacodynamic effects.

A Phase Ib/II study with YELIVA™ for the treatment of refractory or relapsed multiple myeloma has recently been initiated at Duke University Medical Center. The study is supported by a $2 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (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 II study with YELIVA™ for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma is planned to be initiated in the coming weeks. The study will be conducted at MUSC Hollings Cancer Center and additional clinical centers in the U.S. It is supported by a $1.8 million grant from the NCI awarded to MUSC, 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, including the Phase II study with YELIVA™ and will be further supported by additional funding from RedHill.

A Phase I/II clinical study evaluating YELIVA™ in patients with refractory/relapsed diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) was initiated at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center (LSUHSC) in New Orleans in June 2015 and is expected to resume later this year following administrative hold and pending a protocol amendment aimed at improving overall recruitment. The study is supported by a grant awarded to Apogee from the NCI as well as additional support from RedHill.

The studies with YELIVA™ (ABC294640) are registered on www.ClinicalTrials.gov, a web-based service by the U.S. National Institute of Health, which provides public access to information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies.

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