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Cellerant Therapeutics, Initiates a P I/II Acute Leukemia Clinical Trial of CLT-008

CLT-008, an allogeneic cell-based therapy, is under development to provide hematopoietic support following high-dose chemotherapy or radiation exposure by shortening the time to neutrophil recovery and decreasing the risks of febrile neutropenia and infection.
  • CLT-008 is a unique, off-the-shelf, cryopreserved, cell-based therapy that contains human Myeloid Progenitor Cells derived from adult hematopoietic stem cells that have the ability to mature into functional granulocytes, platelets and red blood cells in vivo. In preclinical models, CLT-008 has been shown to be highly effective in providing protection from lethal radiation, preventing infection, facilitating stem cell engraftment and improving overall survival with a high degree of efficacy;
  • Cellerant is developing CLT-008 as an effective treatment for chemotherapy-induced neutropenia, protection following exposure to acute radiation, and facilitating engraftment of cord blood transplantation. CLT-008 is currently in a Phase 1 study in patients undergoing cord blood transplants for the treatment of hematological malignancies. CLT-008 is intended to rapidly produce neutrophils and platelets in vivo and facilitate long-term engraftment in patients undergoing bone marrow or cord blood transplantation.

The open-label, multi-center, dose escalation trial will evaluate the safety and tolerability of CLT-008 in the setting of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia in approximately 30 evaluable patients with high-risk acute myelogenous leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL/AML), and chronic myelogenous leukemia (NYSE:CML) or myelodysplasia (NYSE:MDS). The secondary objectives include efficacy-related endpoints such as time to neutrophil recovery, duration of severe neutropenia and thrombocytopenia, days of fever and incidence of infections and incidence and duration of hospitalization.

  • In ARS applications, CLT-008 is intended to provide hematopoietic cellular support after exposure to ionizing radiation from a nuclear or radiological weapon, or from a nuclear accident. Cellerant has conducted various preclinical studies to indicate that a single administration of CLT-008 could provide effective treatment for ARS in an emergency situation, and could be administered up to 5 days post-exposure to radiation. CLT008 is being developed under the US FDA’s Animal Rule for ARS. This approval pathway is available when human efficacy studies are neither ethical nor feasible and requires demonstration of efficacy in representative and well-characterized animal models along with safety and pharmacokinetic testing in human clinical trials. There is currently no FDA-approved medical countermeasure to treat ARS. If licensed by the FDA, the federal government could purchase CLT-008 for the Strategic National Stockpile under Project Bioshield. Project Bioshield is designed to accelerate the research, development, purchase and availability of effective medical countermeasures for the Strategic National Stockpile.

The Bottom line: Cellerant Therapeutics (CT), a private company is developing novel hematopoietic stem cell-based cellular and antibody therapies for blood disorders and cancer, announced the initiation of a Phase I/II clinical trial of CLT-008 in patients receiving intensive post-remission chemotherapy for high-risk leukemia or myelodysplasia. CT is also developing CLT-008 for the treatment of Acute Radiation Syndrome (NYSE:ARS) under a US contract awarded on 9/1/10 and valued up to $153M over 5 years with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response of the Department of Health and Human Services. Febrile neutropenia is a significant dose-limiting toxicity of chemotherapy which requires hospitalization and treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics. Occurrence of neutropenia typically requires dose reductions for chemotherapy regimens which can impact subsequent disease control and survival, especially in the treatment of acute leukemia and high-risk MDS, where dose-intensive, myelosuppressive induction and consolidation chemotherapy have demonstrated significant clinical benefit. Current treatment options include the administration of colony-stimulating factors to increase the production of neutrophils. However, in dose-intensive chemotherapy settings as required for more advanced-stage solid-tumor cancers and hematological malignancies, the risk and incidence of neutropenia is greater due to loss of the myeloid progenitor cells necessary to mature into neutrophils. CLT-008, a human Myeloid Progenitor Cell product, would provide the critical myeloid progenitor cellular support to rapidly produce neutrophils and to shorten the duration of severe neutropenia following such chemotherapy regimens.