Astellas said preliminary results from an ongoing clinical trial of its potential leukemia drug gilteritinib show it may be a long-awaited treatment option for certain patients with acute myeloid leukemia.
The results of the CHRYSALIS study, published in The Lancet Oncology journal, indicate the drug hampers a genetic mutation responsible for the most difficult-to-treat cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), especially those that end in relapse after previously successful treatment, Astellas Pharma US said in a release.
Based on the results showing gilteritinib to be safe and well-tolerated, a new clinical trial focusing on its efficacy against leukemia is being launched, the release said
Dr. Alexander Perl of the University of Pennsylvania-Abramson Comprehensive Care Center said the study may realize a treatment or an eventual cure that had eluded doctors for decades.
"Although AML is an uncommon blood cancer, approximately one third of patients have FLT3 tyrosine kinase mutations, which are associated with high relapse rates and poor survival,” Perl said in the release. “Targeting FLT3 (the specific genetic mutation) in the clinic has long been a therapeutic goal, but historically this has proven challenging.”
The CHYRSALIS study’s results were based on tests of more than 250 patients across the globe.
Astellas Senior Vice President Steven Benner said in the release the early positive results will spur further testing in other types of leukemia.
"AML is a disease that represents a high unmet clinical need, and we continue to be encouraged by the results achieved thus far with gilteritinib," Benner said in the release.