Express Pharma

Rakuten Medical to start phase 3 trial of Alluminox treatment using ASP-1929 for head and neck cancer

This ASP-1929-301 study is currently underway in several countries such as the US and Taiwan, and will enroll 275 patients globally including Indian patients

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Rakuten Medical, a company developing and commercialising precision, cell-targeting therapies based on its proprietary Alluminox platform, announced that the company has been granted permission from the Indian Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) to conduct its global, pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial (ASP-1929-301/ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03769506) evaluating Alluminox treatment (photoimmunotherapy) using ASP-1929 in patients with locoregional, recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) in India, and the registration of clinical trial information with the Clinical Trial Registry of India (CTRI) has been completed (CTRI Identifier: CTRI/2023/05/052728).

The study sites will include medical institutions in India such as the Tata Memorial Centre and Narayana Health and the treatment will be administered to enrolled patients once ready. This ASP-1929-301 study is currently underway in several countries such as the US and Taiwan, and will enroll 275 patients globally including Indian patients.

The multi-centre, randomised, open-label, global Phase 3 study of Alluminox treatment using ASP-1929 will evaluate the efficacy and safety of ASP-1929 in patients with locoregional, recurrent HNSCC who have previously failed or progressed on or after at least two lines of therapy, of which at least one line must be systemic therapy, and are not eligible for surgery or radiation. Participants will be randomised to receive experimental therapy or investigator’s choice of systemic therapy (2:1). The dual-primary endpoints of the study are progression-free survival and overall survival, and a key secondary endpoint includes objective response rate.

We are very pleased to be conducting the pivotal Phase 3 study of Alluminox treatment using ASP-1929 in India, where there is a high unmet need for head and neck cancer treatment. The addition of India to this important study will help to accelerate the development of this drug,” said Mickey Mikitani, Co-CEO, Rakuten Medical.

ASP-1929 is a conjugation of antibody cetuximab and IRDye 700DX, a light activatable dye, and is Rakuten Medical’s first pipeline drug developed on its Alluminox platform. It binds to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is highly expressed in head and neck cancers. After binding to cancer cells, ASP-1929 is locally activated by non-thermal red light (690 nm) illumination, which leads to selective cell killing in pre-clinical observations. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation for the drug in January 2018.

 

In Japan, in September 2020, ASP-1929 received marketing approval from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare for unresectable locally advanced or recurrent head and neck cancer as brand name Akalux, together with BioBlade Laser System, the medical device used in combination with the drug under the Conditional Early Approval System. Outside of Japan, ASP-1929 and the laser device system have not yet been approved by any regulatory authority.

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