BeyondSpring Initiates Expanded Access Program with Plinabulin for Patients Suffering from CIN in the U.S.
08/11/2020 | 08:01am EDT
- NCCN Guideline Updates Highlight Need for Maximum CIN Prevention and Resource Allocation for COVID-19 Patients -
- First Patient Dosed in the U.S. Avoided Grade 4 Neutropenia in Cycle 2 with Plinabulin and Pegfilgrastim, Despite Experiencing Grade 4 Neutropenia in Cycle 1 with Pegfilgrastim Alone -
NEW YORK, Aug. 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BeyondSpring Inc. (the “Company” or “BeyondSpring”) (NASDAQ: BYSI), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of innovative immuno-oncology cancer therapies, today announced that the Company has initiated an Expanded Access Program (EAP) to enable doctors across the U.S. to use BeyondSpring’s late-stage asset, Plinabulin, to prevent cancer patients’ chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (CIN), both alone and in combination with G-CSFs (the current standard of care), during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Emad Ibrahim enrolled the first patient at Redlands Community Hospital in California on July 28, 2020.
In response to COVID-19, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recently updated its treatment guidelines for the prophylaxis of CIN, with the objective of preserving hospital and ER resources for COVID-19 patients and maximizing protection for cancer patients against CIN development. This is designed to help necessitate healthcare interactions, and avoidance of hospital / ER visits will also minimize cancer patients’ risk of contracting COVID-19. In light of these NCCN guideline updates, BeyondSpring initiated an Expanded Access Program to enable the use of Plinabulin by oncologists to better protect cancer patients against CIN with the use of myelosuppressive chemotherapies under the current COVID-19 challenges.
Dr. Emad Ibrahim enrolled the first patient under this EAP at Redlands Community Hospital in California:
This involved a patient with breast cancer receiving standard-of-care chemotherapy (AC). The patient developed Grade 4 neutropenia in Cycle 1 despite the use of Pegfilgrastim at 6mg.
When the patient completed Cycle 2 with the Plinabulin and Pegfilgrastim combination, the patient did not develop Grade 4 neutropenia.
“The recent updates to the NCCN guidelines aim to protect cancer patients from developing CIN in the most effective way possible and enable the healthcare system to reserve precious resources for COVID-19 patients,” said Ramon Mohanlal, BeyondSpring’s Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, Research and Development. “In our CIN studies, Plinabulin, in combination with Pegfilgrastim, provided superior protection against CIN, compared to the standard of care alone. The observation in this first EAP patient who completely avoided Grade 4 CIN when given Plinabulin and Pegfilgrastim is a significant achievement for us. At BeyondSpring, we strive to play our part in serving patients and healthcare providers to the highest degree while working through the many challenges imposed by COVID-19.”
Preventing CIN during chemotherapy is extremely important, as this will enable cancer patients to receive the full regimen of chemotherapy and achieve treatment goals. The onset of CIN is the No. 1 reason for treatment modifications, such as downgrading the strength of chemotherapy or stopping chemotherapy altogether. When a patient develops CIN, the treating physician is required to delay the next round of chemotherapy until a patient’s white blood cell count recovers. These changes can have a profoundly negative impact on patient outcomes.
About BeyondSpring Headquartered in New York, BeyondSpring is a global, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative immuno-oncology cancer therapies to improve clinical outcomes for patients with high unmet medical needs. BeyondSpring’s first-in-class lead immune asset, Plinabulin, is a potent antigen-presenting cell (APC) inducer. It is currently in two Phase 3 clinical trials for two severely unmet medical needs indications: one is for the prevention of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (CIN), the most frequent cause for a chemotherapy regimen dose’s decrease, delay, downgrade or discontinuation, which can lead to suboptimal clinical outcomes. The other is for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment in EGFR wild-type patients. As a “pipeline drug,” Plinabulin is in various I/O combination studies to boost PD-1 / PD-L1 antibody anti-cancer effects. In addition to Plinabulin, BeyondSpring’s extensive pipeline includes three pre-clinical immuno-oncology assets and a drug discovery platform dubbed “molecular glue” that uses the protein degradation pathway.
About Plinabulin Plinabulin, BeyondSpring’s lead asset, is a differentiated immune and stem cell modulator. Plinabulin is currently in late-stage clinical development to increase overall survival in cancer patients, as well as to alleviate chemotherapy-induced neutropenia (CIN). The durable anticancer benefits of Plinabulin have been associated with its effect as a potent antigen-presenting cell (APC) inducer (through dendritic cell maturation) and T-cell activation (Chem and Cell Reports, 2019). Plinabulin’s CIN data highlights the ability to boost the number of hematopoietic stem / progenitor cells (HSPCs), or lineage-/cKit+/Sca1+ (LSK) cells in mice. Effects on HSPCs could explain the ability of Plinabulin to not only treat CIN but also to reduce chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia and increase circulating CD34+ cells in patients.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements This press release includes forward-looking statements that are not historical facts. Words such as "will," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "believe," "design," "may," "future," "estimate," "predict," "objective," "goal," or variations thereof and variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on BeyondSpring's current knowledge and its present beliefs and expectations regarding possible future events and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of several factors including, but not limited to, difficulties raising the anticipated amount needed to finance the Company's future operations on terms acceptable to the Company, if at all, unexpected results of clinical trials, delays or denial in regulatory approval process, results that do not meet our expectations regarding the potential safety, the ultimate efficacy or clinical utility of our product candidates, increased competition in the market, and other risks described in BeyondSpring’s most recent Form 20-F on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements made herein speak only as of the date of this release and BeyondSpring undertakes no obligation to update publicly such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances, except as otherwise required by law.