For the Treatment of Cancer
MN-029 is a novel, small molecule VDA being developed for the treatment of solid tumors. We licensed MN-029 from Angiogene Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. Several preclinical pharmacology studies conducted by Angiogene Pharmaceuticals and us have assessed the mechanism of action and anti-tumor activity of MN-029 in vivo in rodent models of breast adenocarcinoma, colon carcinoma, lung carcinoma and KHT sarcoma. In these studies, MN-029 damaged poorly formed tumor blood vessels by weakening tumor blood vessel walls and causing leakage, clotting and eventual vascular shutdown within the tumor. These studies suggest that MN-029 acts quickly and is rapidly cleared from the body, which may reduce the potential for some adverse effects commonly associated with chemotherapy. Shutdown of tumor blood flow in tumor models was confirmed through the use of dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI.
To date, we have conducted two Phase I clinical trials of MN-029 for the treatment of solid tumors. In one Phase I clinical trial, MN-029 was administered as an intravenous infusion once every three weeks with a 20-day recovery period between doses (one cycle). Results from this clinical trial showed that MN-029 was well tolerated at doses that reduced tumor blood flow. A maximum tolerated dose of 180 mg/m2 per dose was established in this clinical trial. The most common side effects of MN-029 were characteristic of other VDAs and included nausea, vomiting, fatigue and diarrhea. Nine of 34 patients with advanced solid tumors for whom no standard therapy was available had stable disease after three cycles of treatment. Six patients had prolonged (greater than six months) stable disease. Two of these patients had stable disease (one with melanoma after 24 months of treatment and one with carcinoid tumors after 33 months of treatment) upon their transition from our clinical trial to compassionate use programs. Following the transition of these patients to compassionate use programs, we have not received, nor will we receive, any further data on these patients unless a serious adverse effect occurs. Although no patients showed objective responses based on Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, or RECIST criteria, which is tumor length on CT or MRI scan, semi-automated measurements of tumor volumes from CT scans showed a measureable reduction in tumor burden in the subject with the largest reduction in tumor blood flow (Ktrans -40%). Tumor blood flow reduction assessed by dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging, or DCE-MRI, was recorded at doses greater than or equal to 120mg/m2.
In another Phase I clinical trial, MN-029 was administered as an intravenous infusion every 7 days (Days 1, 8, 15) followed by a 13-day recovery period (one cycle). Results from this clinical trial showed that MN-029 was well tolerated. The maximum dose was limited to 180 mg/m2 per dose based on the results of the other Phase I trial that employed a less aggressive dosing schedule. The most common side effects of MN-029 in this clinical trial included nausea, vomiting, arthralgia and headache. Eleven of 20 patients with advanced solid tumors for whom no standard therapy was available had stable disease after two cycles of treatment. Four subjects continued on extended cycles of MN-029 treatment. Based on RECIST criteria, one patient with metastatic pancreatic cancer had an overall partial response with a duration of 74 days. Seven patients had stable disease with a median duration of 83 days.
We will limit our development efforts on MN-029 for the treatment of solid tumors to those activities necessary to maximize MN-029’s value while pursuing a variety of initiatives to monetize this product candidate.