Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. has reported topline results from the combined analysis of Stages 1 and 2 and Stage 2 alone of its HALO 202 study, a Phase 2 randomized, multi-center clinical trial of lead investigational drug PEGPH20 in combination with ABRAXANE® (nab-paclitaxel) and gemcitabine in stage IV pancreas cancer patients.
Among the findings, the overall study population showed a statistically significant increase in progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with high levels of hyaluronan (HA-High) treated with PEGPH20 plus ABRAXANE and gemcitabine when compared to HA-High patients receiving ABRAXANE and gemcitabine alone. Stage 2 of the study, which completed enrollment in February 2016, showed a 91 percent improvement in median PFS for HA-High patients in the PEGPH20 arm, 8.6 months compared to 4.5 months in the control arm, and achieved its primary endpoint to evaluate and demonstrate a reduction in the rate of thromboembolic events in the PEGPH20 arm.
"These findings confirm our confidence in the development of PEGPH20 in this difficult to treat cancer," said Dr. Helen Torley, president and CEO. "We are pleased by the overall consistency of both the efficacy and safety data which are supportive of our ongoing Phase 3 clinical trial, HALO 301, currently underway at more than 160 sites worldwide."
Dr. Sunil R. Hingorani, the principal investigator leading this trial, and a pancreas cancer expert at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and professor at University of Washington School of Medicine, said: "The Study 202 data confirm for the first time in a randomized Phase 2 trial using the current standard of care that a biopsy-based biomarker for hyaluronan content can potentially identify patients who will have a meaningfully greater response when PEGPH20 is added to their treatment. The analysis suggests statistically significant and clinically important progress in this very difficult to treat cancer. The median PFS is a notable increase over the current standard of care and supports ongoing exploration in the current Phase 3 study."
Pancreas cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer related death in the United States, and more than 65,000 people in the U.S. and top five European countries are diagnosed annually with advanced cases of the disease.
About HALO 301 and HALO 202
HALO 301 is a phase 3 global, randomized, double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial evaluating investigational new drug PEGPH20 as a first-line therapy for potential treatment of patients with metastatic pancreas cancer. The trial will be conducted at approximately 200 sites with two primary endpoints, progression free survival and overall survival in patients receiving investigational new drug PEGPH20 in combination with gemcitabine and ABRAXANE® (nab-paclitaxel) compared to gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel alone. Secondary endpoints also include objective response rate and overall survival. More information may be found at clinicaltrials.gov (search HALO 301 or trial identifier NCT02715804) or www.HALO301.com.
HALO 202 (Halo 109-202) is a phase 2 multi-center, randomized clinical trial evaluating investigational new drug PEGPH20 as a first-line therapy for potential treatment of patients with metastatic pancreas cancer. The primary outcome of the trial is to measure improvement in progression-free survival in patients receiving investigational new drug PEGPH20 in combination with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel compared to gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel alone. A second primary endpoint assesses the thromboembolic event rate in the PEGPH20 treatment arm. Secondary endpoints also include objective response rate and overall survival.
PEGPH20 is an investigational PEGylated form of Halozyme's proprietary recombinant human hyaluronidase under clinical development for the potential systemic treatment of tumors that accumulate hyaluronan. PEGPH20 is an enzyme that temporarily degrades HA, a dense component of the tumor microenvironment that can accumulate in higher concentrations around certain cancer cells, potentially constricting blood vessels and impeding the access of other therapies.
FDA granted orphan drug designation to PEGPH20 for treatment of pancreas cancer and fast track for PEGPH20 in combination with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel for the treatment of metastatic pancreas cancer. Additionally, the European Commission, acting on the recommendation from the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Agency, designated investigational drug PEGPH20 an orphan medicinal product for the treatment of pancreas cancer.