Background: SL-401 is a novel targeted therapy directed to the interleukin-3 receptor (CD123), a target overexpressed on acute myeloid leukemia (AML) blasts and AML cancer stem cells (CSCs), and a variety of additional hematologic malignancies. While conventional chemotherapy can induce remission in a majority of treatment-naive AML patients, relapse rates remain high. Outcomes are particularly poor when minimal residual disease (MRD), as determined by genetic and/or flow cytometric analyses, remains after therapy, with high rates of relapse and short disease-free survival. Conceivably, a therapy directed at lowering MRD burden may improve long-term outcomes. Given the association of MRD with CD123+ AML CSCs, SL-401 is being evaluated in patients with AML in first or second complete remission (CR1 or CR2, respectively) with high risk of relapse including persistent MRD. Preliminary results are reported here.
Methods & Results: This multicenter, single-arm Phase 2 trial of AML patients in CR1 or CR2 with high risk of relapse includes a lead-in (stage 1) and expansion (stage 2). In stage 1, patients (MRD+ or MRD-) receive SL-401 as a daily IV infusion at 7, 9, or 12 ug/kg/day for days 1- 5 of a 28 day cycle in a 3x3 design. In stage 2, patients (MRD+ only) receive SL-401 at the dose determined in stage 1. Presence of MRD for eligibility requires either molecular (by cytogenetics, FISH, PCR, or next-generation sequencing of AML-associated mutations) or multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC) evidence of persistent abnormalities in the setting of morphologic CR. In stage 2, MRD assessment will include MFC of bone marrow aspirates conducted at a central laboratory for uniformity. Objectives include characterization of SL-401 safety with determination of the maximum tolerated or tested dose, and preliminary assessment of efficacy including changes in MRD burden and response duration. As of 7/27/16, stage 1 has been completed and stage 2 is open for enrollment. Nine patients (stage 1) received SL-401 (7 ug/kg, n=3; 9 ug/kg, n=3; 12ug/kg, n=3). The median age was 63 years (range: 51-78 years); 6 males and 3 females were treated; 8 patients were in CR1 and 1 patient was in CR2 at enrollment. The 12 ug/kg dose level was the highest tested dose with no DLTs; MTD was not reached. The most common treatment-related AEs, all grades, were thrombocytopenia (3/9; 33%) and hypoalbuminemia (3/9; 33%); the most common ≥ grade 3 treatment-related AE was thrombocytopenia (1/9; 11%); there was no DLT. Patients treated at all doses received 1+ to 5+ cycles (ongoing) of SL-401, including 3 MRD+ patients treated at 7 ug/kg (n=1) or 9 ug/kg (n=2) who received 1-5 cycles, and 1 MRD+ patient treated at 12 ug/kg who is receiving ongoing SL-401 for 4+ cycles. For all 3 patients treated at 12 ug/kg (MRD+, n=1; MRD-, n=2), 2 patients remain on SL-401 and have received 1+ and 4+ cycles (both ongoing); one other patient treated at 12 ug/kg discontinued the study because of infection unrelated to study drug. Notably, the one MRD+ patient treated at 12 ug/kg (ongoing at 4+ cycles) had marked MRD reduction as determined by MFC at the local institution; this patient is being considered for stem cell transplant (SCT).
Conclusions: Stage 1 is complete without DLT or MTD, and stage 2 (expansion) is open to enroll AML patients in CR1 or CR2 who are MRD+ at the highest tested dose of 12 ug/kg. The safety profile has been similar to that observed in other SL-401 clinical studies, with no unexpected AEs. Targeting MRD with SL-401 has the potential to reduce this chemo-resistant cell population and offer improved long-term outcomes for AML patients in remission with high risk of relapse. Updated data will be presented. Clinical trial information: NCT02270463.
Lane: N-of-1: Consultancy; Stemline Therapeutics: Research Funding. Sweet:Pfizer: Speakers Bureau; Karyopharm: Honoraria, Research Funding; Incyte Corporation: Research Funding; Novartis: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau; Ariad: Consultancy, Speakers Bureau. Wang:Immunogen: Research Funding; Incyte: Speakers Bureau. Stein:Seattle Genetics: Research Funding; Amgen: Consultancy, Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Stemline Therapeutics: Consultancy, Research Funding; Argios: Research Funding; Celgene: Research Funding. Carraway:Incyte: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Amgen: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Novartis: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Celgene: Research Funding, Speakers Bureau; Baxalta: Speakers Bureau. Prebet:celgene: Consultancy, Honoraria; Novartis: Consultancy, Honoraria. Chen:Stemline Therapeutics, Inc.: Employment, Equity Ownership. Lindsay:Stemline Therapeutics, Inc.: Employment, Equity Ownership. Shemesh:Stemline Therapeutics: Employment, Equity Ownership. Brooks:Stemline Therapeutics, Inc.: Employment, Equity Ownership, Patents & Royalties. Stone:Novartis: Consultancy; Juno Therapeutics: Consultancy; Celgene: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Abbvie: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Agios: Consultancy; Amgen: Consultancy; Celator: Consultancy; Karyopharm: Consultancy; Jansen: Consultancy; Pfizer: Consultancy; ONO: Consultancy; Merck: Consultancy; Roche: Consultancy; Seattle Genetics: Consultancy; Sunesis Pharmaceuticals: Consultancy; Xenetic Biosciences: Consultancy. Jabbour:ARIAD: Consultancy, Research Funding; Pfizer: Consultancy, Research Funding; Novartis: Research Funding; BMS: Consultancy. Konopleva:Cellectis: Research Funding; Calithera: Research Funding.