NEW YORK, Sept. 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SELLAS Life Sciences Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:SLS) (“SELLAS” or the “Company”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel cancer immunotherapies for a broad range of cancer indications, today announced that the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has approved orphan medicinal product designation (OMPD) for galinpepimut-S (GPS), the Company’s lead product candidate, for the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). GPS is licensed from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and targets the Wilms Tumor 1 (WT1) protein, which is present in an array of tumor types. GPS has also been granted orphan drug designation and fast track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of MM.
“This OMPD endorsement by the COMP of the EMA for GPS in MM complements the orphan designation awarded by the US FDA for this product in the same indication,” said Angelos Stergiou, MD, ScD h.c., President and Chief Executive Officer of SELLAS. “The results from our open-label Phase 2 study reinforce the potential of GPS to serve as a therapy for high-risk MM patients in the post-autotransplant maintenance setting. The innovative nature and unique mechanism of action for GPS provide a promising potential addition to the current arsenal of therapies in this indication. We continue to work closely with the FDA and EMA, as well as multiple myeloma KOLs to further advance the clinical development of GPS in this malignancy and look forward to gaining further insights on the potential therapeutic role of GPS in high-risk MM patients.”
The EMA orphan medicinal product designation is granted to medicines being developed for the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of a life-threatening or chronically debilitating condition with a prevalence of not more than five in 10,000 people in the European Union. Orphan designations are granted by decisions of the European Commission based on opinions from the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products within EMA. EMA orphan drug designation benefits include protocol assistance, access to the EU centralized authorization procedure, reduced EU regulatory filing fees and 10 years of market exclusivity across the EU.
About the Phase 2 Trial of GPS in Multiple Myeloma
The open-label Phase 2 study consisted of 19 patients with multiple myeloma who had high-risk cytogenetics at initial diagnosis and remained at least minimal residual disease (MRD)-positive after a successful autologous stem cell transplant (“ASCT”). GPS was administered to patients in the study who achieved a stable disease or better status (per International Myeloma Working Group criteria) following ASCT. GPS was evaluated as consolidation therapy (on top of lenalidomide or bortezomib) to potentially stimulate a highly-specific immune response against WT1 in order to prevent or delay myeloma progression. Median progression-free survival (PFS) of 23.6 months was reported in this high-risk disease setting, compared to historically inferior outcomes while on an immunomodulatory drug (IMID) or proteasome inhibitor post-ASCT maintenance. Median overall survival has not been reached to date. GPS stimulated time-dependent and robust CD4+ T cell or CD8+ T cell immune responses (IRs) specific for all four WT1 peptides within GPS, two of which are heteroclitic (mutated, by design). In addition, GPS stimulated similar IRs against the two counterpart native peptides. The IRs were confirmed in up to 91% of patients across HLA allele types, with multivalent IRs emerging in up to 64% of patients. Multifunctional cross-epitope T cell reactivity was observed in 75% of patients to antigenic epitopes against which hosts were not specifically immunized, in a pattern akin to epitope spreading. A link of clinical activity to antigen-specific immune responses was suggested.
About Galinpepimut-S (GPS)
GPS is a heteroclitic multivalent, multi-peptide cancer immunotherapeutic agent composed of four peptides, addressing over 20 epitopes, and derived from the WT1 protein, which has been ranked by the National Cancer Institute as a top priority among cancer antigens for immunotherapy. Importantly, because the WT1 antigen is overexpressed in many malignancies, and is not found in most normal tissues, GPS has the potential to be a broad immunotherapy, effective across a multitude of diverse cancer types and patient populations.
About SELLAS Life Sciences Group, Inc.
SELLAS is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel cancer immunotherapeutics for a broad range of cancer indications. SELLAS’ lead product candidate, galinpepimut-S (GPS), is licensed from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and targets the Wilms Tumor 1 (WT1) protein, which is present in an array of tumor types. GPS has potential as a monotherapy or in combination to address a broad spectrum of hematologic malignancies and solid tumor indications. SELLAS has Phase 3 clinical trials planned for GPS in two indications, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and is also developing GPS as a potential treatment for multiple myeloma (MM) and ovarian cancer. SELLAS plans to study GPS in up to four additional indications. SELLAS has received Orphan Drug (or Medicinal Product) designations for GPS from both the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for AML, MPM, and MM. GPS also received Fast Track designation for AML, MPM and MM from the FDA. SELLAS’ second product candidate, NeuVax™ (nelipepimut-S), is a HER2-directed cancer immunotherapy being investigated for the prevention of the recurrence of breast cancer after standard of care treatment in the adjuvant setting. NeuVax™ has received Fast Track status designation by FDA for the treatment of patients with early stage breast cancer with low to intermediate HER2 expression, otherwise known as HER2 1+ or 2+, following standard of care.
For more information on SELLAS, please visit www.sellaslifesciences.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts are “forward-looking statements,” including those relating to future events. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “plan,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “may,” “might,” “will,” “should,” “project,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “intend,” or “continue” and other words or terms of similar meaning. These statements, include, without limitation, statements related to the timing and results of clinical studies and as to further development of GPS for a broad range of cancer indications. These forward-looking statements are based on current plans, objectives, estimates, expectations and intentions, and inherently involve significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which risks include, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with immune-oncology product development and clinical success thereof, risks and uncertainties related to the timing of clinical trials, the uncertainty of regulatory approval, the uncertainty of partnering its clinical assets, and other risks and uncertainties affecting SELLAS and its development programs as set forth under the caption “Risk Factors” in Exhibit 99.1 in its Current Report on Form 8-K filed on July 18, 2018 and in its other SEC filings. Other risks and uncertainties of which SELLAS is not currently aware may also affect SELLAS’ forward-looking statements and may cause actual results and the timing of events to differ materially from those anticipated. The forward-looking statements herein are made only as of the date hereof. SELLAS undertakes no obligation to update or supplement any forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, new information, future events, changes in its expectations or other circumstances that exist after the date as of which the forward-looking statements were made.
Stern Investor Relations, Inc.
David Moser, JD
Sellas Life Sciences Group