Genta Incorporated (OTCBB: GETA.OB) announced preliminary results that show a high objective response rate in a pilot study of patients with advanced melanoma that incorporates the Company’s lead oncology product, Genasense® (oblimersen sodium) Injection, administered for the first time as a 1-hour high-dose intravenous (IV) infusion. The data were featured this week in a presentation at the annual World Meeting of Interdisciplinary Melanoma/Skin Cancer Centers in Berlin, Germany.
Based on preclinical evidence of synergy, this study combined Genasense with temozolomide (Temodar®; Schering Plough, Inc.), the most commonly used anticancer drug for melanoma, and Abraxane® (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension [albumen bound]; Abraxis Bioscience, Inc.). Previous results using a standard dose and schedule of Genasense (i.e., approximately 500 mg infused over 24 hours daily for 7 days) suggested this investigational combination was associated with clinical activity and good tolerability in 18 patients.
In the new schedule, Genasense was administered with the same chemotherapy as a brief IV infusion over 1-hour twice per week for 4 consecutive weeks at a dose of 900 mg. This schedule compresses approximately 48 hours of standard dosing into a brief 1-hour infusion.
To date, 10 patients with Stage IV metastatic melanoma have been accrued to this ongoing trial. Three patients achieved confirmed partial responses after the first 2 treatment cycles with current durations lasting from 24 to 40 weeks. One patient has maintained stable disease that has lasted 16 weeks, two patients have progressed, and four patients are too early to evaluate, having received only a single cycle. Only one episode (i.e., Grade 3 neutropenia) of any Grade 3-4 adverse event has been observed.
“With a preliminary disease control rate (defined as complete or partial responses plus stable disease lasting at least 3 months) of 67%, we view these data as very promising,” said Dr. Loretta M. Itri, Genta’s President, Pharmaceutical Development. “Temozolomide is the active metabolite of dacarbazine that has been used in our Phase 3 trial in patients with advanced melanoma. I am pleased to confirm that Genta will continue the Phase 3, randomized, double-blind AGENDA trial in order to determine overall survival in that study. Finally, taxanes are being increasingly used in patients with metastatic melanoma. We intend to initiate a Phase 2 study of our proprietary oral taxane, tesetaxel, in advanced melanoma. We hope our comprehensive approach with these new medicines may improve the management of this devastating disease.”