Mont-Saint-Guibert, Belgium - Celyad (Euronext Brussels and Paris, and NASDAQ: CYAD) a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of specialized CAR-T cell based therapies, today provided an update on key clinical and operational developments for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018.
FIRST QUARTER 2018 AND RECENT HIGHLIGHTS
- Robust clinical development plan is foundation for new trials focusing on AML and CRC
- Steady progress related to ongoing THINK, SHRINK and LINK trials
- Good safety profile of CYAD-01 confirmed
- Lead publication Haematologica publishes THINK Study Case Report
Dr. Christian Homsy, CEO of Celyad commented: “We had a productive first quarter, further defining our strategy that will guide CYAD-01 in becoming the foundation for cancer therapies. Not only have we progressed in the THINK trial, we have also treated our first patients in the SHRINK and LINK trial. The absence of any observed critical on target/off tumor toxicity in our trials is an important signal validating our technology. The next months will be exciting for our company and we look forward communicating results on our clinical trials in scientific congresses.”
FIRST QUARTER 2017 OPERATIONAL AND FINANCIAL REVIEW
In February 2018, Celyad provided a detailed clinical update summarizing the promising results achieved in 2017: the THINK trial resulted in signs of clinical activity ranging from Stable Disease (SD) to Complete Response (CR), despite the absence of preconditioning therapy and the lower doses used at that stage of the trial. The company also announced that it will further evaluate CYAD-01 in a series of additional Phase 1 clinical trials in patients with AML and CRC.
Also in February 2018, Celyad organized a Key Opinion Leader meeting on CAR-T therapy in New York, USA. The meeting featured a presentation by Marco Davila, MD, PhD (Moffitt Cancer Center). The numerous attendants received information on the unmet medical need in blood cancers as well as details on Celyad’s clinical strategy.
On the operation side, during this first quarter, Celyad progressed well in the THINK trial as well as the in LINK trial:
- The company dosed the three CRC patients in the third dose cohort in the solid arm of the THINK trial, and the two last AML patients in the second dose. Celyad plans to initiate the third dose in the AML arm in May 2018, and complete the recruitement of three additional CRC patients at the higher dose by mid-2018. In 2018, all patients were dosed with the our new production process adopted in December 2017.
- The company also treated its first CRC patient in the LINK trial. This patient received three planned injections at the first Dose level (3x108). LINK adopts a loco-regional approach in treating CRC by administering CYAD-01 through multiple hepatic transarterial injections.
The company ended the quarter with €25.1 million in cash, cash equivalents and short-term investrments. Use of cash over the first quarter of 2018 amounted to €8.8 million, in line with expectations. The company confirms that existing cash and cash equivalents and short term investments are sufficient to fund operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements, based on the current scope of activities, until the end of Q1 2019.
Events subsequent to quarter-end:
In April 2018, Celyad’s world’s first reported complete response by a CAR-T cell therapy in a patient with refractory and relapsed AML was published as a case report in the leading scientific publication Haematologica. The publication detailed the first objective response related to this patient that is still in remission, more than 9 months after study enrollment.
In May 2018, Celyad achieved an important milestone in its CYAD-01 clinical strategy by dosing the first metastatic CRC patients in the LINK and SHRINK trials. No drug related toxicity was observed in the first patients of both SHRINK and LINK trials.
Generally, Celyad’s progress is the result of the company’s clinical development plan aiming at defining the best of three approaches for CYAD-01 in patients with AML and CRC:
1. CYAD-01 as a stand-alone investigational therapy, currently being evaluated in the THINK trial with relapsed refractory AML and CRC patients. Promising results have already been reported including a complete response and stable diseases.
- Based on data as of April 5, 2018, the date of Celyad’s most recent interim safety report for the THINK trial, Celyad had collected safety data from 20 patients treated with CYAD-01 in the THINK trial. Of the 20 patients included in the interim safety report of the THINK trial (11 solid and nine hematologic cancer patients), Celyad reported the following serious adverse events:
- Grade 4 serious adverse events occurred in two patients: one patient in the hematologic cohort experienced respiratory failure and other Grade 4 adverse events after administration of dose level one of CYAD-01. The other patient, who was in the solid tumor cohort, experienced cytokine release syndrome and other Grade 4 adverse events after administration of dose level three of CYAD-01, which was adjudicated as a dose limiting toxicity (DLT).
- Those two patients each experienced a Grade 5 event that was deemed unrelated to administration of CYAD-01.
2. CYAD-01 administered concurrently with standard of care treatments. The SHRINK trial was recently initiated with the dosage of one CRC patient in April 2018. No Grade 4 or higher adverse event has been reported so far. This trial evaluates the concurrent administration of CYAD-01 with the standard chemotherapy FOLFOX. We expect that another similar trial aimed at AML patients, EPITHINK trial, will be initiated soon.
3. CYAD-01 administered after preconditioning of the patients using lymphodepletion. We expect trials in AML (DEPLETHINK AML) and CRC (DEPLETHINK CRC) patients to be initiated in the coming weeks.