Athenex Meets Enrollment Target for Oraxol Phase III Clinical Trial in Metastatic Breast Cancer

BUFFALO, N.Y., Feb. 15, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Athenex (Nasdaq:ATNX), a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer and related conditions, today announced that the enrollment of patients is on target for the Company to be able to conduct a second interim analysis in the Oraxol KX-ORAX-001 Phase III clinical trial in the third quarter of 2018.

Oraxol, an innovative development in the treatment of cancer, is a novel oral formulation of paclitaxel, a very effective and commonly used chemotherapy treatment for many cancers, combined with HM30181A (a novel orally non-absorbable gastrointestinal tract P-glycoprotein pump inhibitor). The Oraxol KX-ORAX-001 Phase III clinical trial is an international randomized controlled clinical trial comparing Oraxol monotherapy against intravenous (IV) paclitaxel monotherapy in patients with metastatic breast cancer, with target sample size of 360 patients. The study is designed to show superiority of clinical efficacy of Oraxol over IV paclitaxel based on independently confirmed response rates.

In accordance with the protocol the Company conducted a first interim analysis when 90 patients completed 18 weeks of treatment in October 2017.  Based on that analysis, the independent Drug Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) unanimously recommended continuation of the study. The DSMB was impressed by the conduct of the study in achieving a good overall response rate. The DSMB noticed that neuropathy was rare with Oraxol treatment. Neuropathy is a dose limiting toxicity of IV paclitaxel. The DSMB encouraged the rapid patient recruitment toward the scheduled second interim analysis at 180 patients. 

Athenex has already enrolled more than 180 patients and therefore expects the second interim analysis in the third quarter of 2018.

Dr. Rudolf Kwan, Chief Medical Officer, commented, “In January 2018, we had positive feedback from the FDA that if this study meets the primary endpoint with an acceptable benefit/risk profile, it could be adequate as a single comparative trial to support registration of Oraxol for a metastatic breast cancer indication in the United States. We are looking forward to seeing results from the second interim analysis of this clinical trial.”

Dr. Johnson Lau, Athenex’s Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board, stated, “We are very proud of the excellent planning and execution of our clinical team. To be able to deliver both the enrollment for the Oraxol Phase III study on target time and the enrollment of two Phase III studies for KX-01 Ointment for the treatment of actinic keratosis ahead of schedule reflect the hard work, quality and the commitment of our clinical operation team. We are delighted that we are going to again deliver an interim analysis of the topline Oraxol Phase III study results on schedule as planned. Athenex is also conducting clinical studies on Oraxol in other geographic areas as well as for the expansion of clinical indications. We are also proud that Oraxol has recently obtained the Promising Innovative Medicine (PIM) designation by the United Kingdom Health Authority MHRA and also the allowance of two IND (HM30181A and oral paclitaxel capsules) by the Chinese FDA.”

About Athenex, Inc.
Founded in 2003, Athenex, Inc. is a global clinical stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to becoming a leader in the discovery and development of next generation drugs for the treatment of cancer. Athenex is organized around three platforms, including an Oncology Innovation Platform, a Commercial Platform and a Global Supply Chain Platform. Athenex’s Oncology Innovation Platform generates clinical candidates through an extensive understanding of kinases, including novel binding sites and human absorption biology, as well as through the application of Athenex’s proprietary research and selection processes in the lab. The Company’s current clinical pipeline is derived from two different platform technologies Athenex calls Orascovery and Src Kinase Inhibition. The Orascovery platform is based on the novel oral P-glycoprotein pump inhibitor molecule HM30181A, through which Athenex is able to facilitate oral absorption of traditional cytotoxics, which Athenex believes may offer improved patient tolerability and efficacy as compared to IV administration of the same cytotoxics. The Orascovery platform was developed by Hanmi Pharmaceuticals and licensed exclusively to Athenex for all major worldwide territories except Korea, which is retained by Hanmi. The Src Kinase Inhibition platform refers to novel small molecule compounds that have multiple mechanisms of action, including the inhibition of the activity of Src Kinase and the inhibition of tubulin polymerization during cell division. Athenex believes the combination of these mechanisms of action provides a broader range of anti-cancer activity as compared to either mechanism of action alone. Athenex’s employees worldwide are dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients by creating more active and tolerable treatments. Athenex has offices in Buffalo and Clarence, New York; Cranford, New Jersey; Houston, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Hong Kong; Taipei, Taiwan and multiple locations in Chongqing, China.

Forward-Looking Statement Disclaimer/Safe Harbor Statement
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Actual results might differ materially from those explicit or implicit in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: the development stage of our primary clinical candidates and related risks involved in drug development, clinical trials, regulation, manufacturing and commercialization; competition; intellectual property risks; risks relating to doing business in China; and the other risk factors set forth from time to time in our SEC filings, copies of which are available for free in the Investor Relations section of our website at or upon request from our Investor Relations Department. We assume no obligation and do not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

Jim Polson
Tel: +1-716-427-2952
Athenex, Inc.