Salarius’ lead program, Seclidemstat, is in a Phase 1 clinical trial for Ewing sarcoma, a rare and devastating pediatric bone and soft-tissue cancer; Early cohort data expected in 2020
HOUSTON, Sept. 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Salarius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SLRX), a clinical-stage oncology company targeting the epigenetic causes of cancer, announced its support for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, designated as the month of September. Recognizing the work underway by the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation and the many other organizations, foundations and associations around the world to raise awareness of childhood cancers, Salarius joins with these groups in exploring targeted treatments for children and their families seeking new therapeutic options.
According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 15,000 U.S. children and adolescents younger than 20 years will receive a cancer diagnosis each year. In the past 40 years, less than 10 drugs have been developed for use in children with cancer, a number that pales in comparison to the hundreds developed for adult cancers. Despite improvements in overall survival rates, survival rates for some types of childhood cancer remain discouragingly low, and some childhood and adolescent cancer survivors often face long-term complications, including heart disease, infertility or secondary cancers related to their treatment.
Salarius is developing Seclidemstat, a differentiated reversible inhibitor of the widely studied epigenetic enzyme lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1), as a treatment for Ewing sarcoma, a rare, devastating and deadly pediatric bone and soft-tissue cancer for which there are no targeted therapies currently available. For these children, the standard of care is adult chemotherapy, radiation and often disfiguring surgeries.
Seclidemstat has received Orphan Drug Designation and Rare Pediatric Disease Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is now in a Phase 1 clinical trial for Ewing sarcoma, and a second Phase 1 study for patients with advanced solid tumors resistant to standard-of-care therapies.
David Arthur, Chief Executive Officer of Salarius, stated, “There are 400 to 500 children diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma every year in the U.S., and the average age of diagnosis is about 15. These are children and young adults with their whole lives ahead of them. But figures show that roughly 40% to 45% either do not respond or relapse from the standard of care. With those patients, there is approximately an 80% five-year mortality rate. We are developing Seclidemstat to address this high-need pediatric cancer population and, in doing so, potentially offer hope for these children and their families.”
Mr. Arthur added, “Our Phase 1 clinical trial of Seclidemstat in the Ewing sarcoma program is currently in the dose escalation phase, and we expect to establish the maximum tolerable dose in early-2020. We then expect to commence dose expansion with the potential for reporting early cohort data later in 2020.”
Seclidemstat (also known as SP-2577) is an investigational agent currently being evaluated in clinical trials. It is a small molecule in development by Salarius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. which inhibits lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1 or KDM1A), an enzyme involved in regulating gene expression. LSD1 is often overexpressed in cancers and can promote disease progression. In certain cancers, higher levels of LSD1 are associated with poor patient prognosis. Seclidemstat has been shown to inhibit LSD1's demethylation and scaffolding properties and has demonstrated potent therapeutic activity in preclinical models of Ewing sarcoma, a rare pediatric/adolescent bone and soft-tissue cancer.
About Salarius Pharmaceuticals
Salarius Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage oncology company targeting the epigenetic causes of cancers and is developing treatments for patients that need them the most. Epigenetics refers to the regulatory system that affects gene expression. In some cancers, epigenetic regulators often become dysregulated and incorrectly turn genes on or off leading to cancer progression. Drugs that are able to safely modify the activity of these epigenetic regulators may correct the gene changes that are driving the disease. The company’s lead candidate, Seclidemstat, is currently in clinical development for treating Ewing sarcoma, for which it has Orphan Drug designation and Rare Pediatric Disease Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Salarius believes that Seclidemstat is one of only two reversible inhibitors of the epigenetic modulator LSD1 currently in human trials, and that it could have potential for improved safety and efficacy compared to other LSD1-targeted therapies. Salarius is also developing Seclidemstat for a number of cancers with high unmet medical need, with a second Phase 1 clinical study in advanced solid tumors, including prostate, breast and ovarian cancers. Salarius receives financial support from the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation to advance the Ewing sarcoma clinical program and is also the recipient of an $18.7 million Product Development Award from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). For more information, please visit salariuspharma.com.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this press release are forward-looking statements. Examples of such statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to: the potential for Seclidemstat to target the epigenetic causes of cancer and advanced solid tumors including prostate, breast, and ovarian cancers; expected timing and results of clinical studies; the nature, strategy and focus of the company; and the development and strategic and commercial potential of any product candidates of the company. Salarius may not actually achieve the plans, carry out the intentions or meet the expectations or objectives disclosed in the forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results and performance to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: the ability of the company to raise additional capital to meet the company’s business operational needs and to achieve its business objectives and strategy; the company’s ability to project future capital needs and cash utilization; future clinical trial results; that the results of studies and clinical trials may not be predictive of future clinical trial results; the applicability of clinical results and the company’s ability to develop and commercialize new products; the sufficiency of Salarius’ intellectual property protection; risks related to the drug development and the regulatory approval process; the impact of new legislation or regulations, or of judicial decisions, on the company’s business; and the competitive landscape and other industry-related risks. Salarius disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.