Healthcare Industry News:  Genta  

Biopharmaceuticals Oncology FDA

 News Release - February 11, 2009

Genta Submits Randomized Study of Tesetaxel in Patients with Advanced Gastric Cancer to FDA for Special Protocol Assessment

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Genta Incorporated (OTCBB: GNTA ) announced today that the Company has submitted a proposal to the Food and Drug Administration for a randomized clinical trial of tesetaxel, an oral taxane chemotherapy compound, for Special Protocol Assessment (SPA). A SPA is intended to secure agreement on the design, size, and endpoints of clinical trials that are intended to form the primary basis of an efficacy claim in a New Drug Application (NDA). Genta also expects to seek Scientific Advice from the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) for this study to support a Marketing Authorization Application (MAA). The Company believes tesetaxel is the leading oral taxane currently in clinical development.

The proposed protocol will examine the safety and efficacy of tesetaxel in patients with advanced gastric cancer whose disease has progressed after receiving first-line chemotherapy. Further details of the study will be announced after final agreement is secured with both regulatory agencies. FDA has previously granted Orphan Drug designation to tesetaxel for treatment of patients with advanced gastric cancer

About Tesetaxel

Tesetaxel is a novel, orally absorbed, semi-synthetic taxane that is in the same class of drugs as paclitaxel and docetaxel. However, both prototype agents suffer from serious safety issues, particularly hypersensitivity reactions related to intravenous infusions that are occasionally fatal and that require careful premedication and observation. Other prominent side-effects of this drug class include myelosuppression (low blood counts) and peripheral neuropathy (disabling nerve damage).

With administration as an oral capsule, tesetaxel was developed to maintain the high antitumor activity of the taxane drug class while eliminating infusion reactions, reducing neuropathy, and increasing patient convenience. The oral route also enables development of novel schedules that may expand dosing options when tesetaxel is used alone or in combination with other anticancer drugs. Preclinically, tesetaxel has demonstrated substantially higher activity against cell lines that were resistant to paclitaxel and docetaxel, since acquired resistance is not mediated by the multidrug-resistant p-glycoprotein.

Tesetaxel has demonstrated anticancer activity in several Phase 2 clinical trials. The drug has not been associated with severe infusion reactions that are linked with other taxanes. Moreover, unlike other oral taxanes, nerve damage has not been a prominent side effect of tesetaxel. Thus, the drug offers substantial opportunities to improve patient convenience, safety, and anticancer activity. More than 250 patients worldwide have been treated with oral tesetaxel in Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials.

Tesetaxel in Advanced Gastric Cancer

In the completed Phase 2 study, 35 patients with advanced gastric cancer were treated with tesetaxel at doses ranging from 27 to 35 mg/m2 once every three weeks. All patients had received extensive prior treatment, having failed a combination regimen that included cisplatin plus 5-fluorouracil or capecitabine (Xeloda®; Hoffmann-La Roche, Inc.), and all but 2 patients had received a third chemotherapy drug with this regimen. Final intent-to-treat analysis, including all patients enrolled in the study, showed that 5 patients achieved a partial response, 2 patients achieved a partial response unconfirmed by CT scan, and 14 patients achieved stable disease, for an overall major response rate of 20% and a disease-control rate of 60%. The most serious adverse reaction was Grade 3-4 neutropenia, which occurred in 57% of patients. Six patients failed to complete the first course of treatment. Five patients died on study from differing causes that included intestinal perforation, pneumonia, hepatic failure, hemorrhagic shock, and rapid disease progression. One patient withdrew before receiving the first treatment dose.

About Genta

Genta Incorporated is a biopharmaceutical company with a diversified product portfolio that is focused on delivering innovative products for the treatment of patients with cancer. Two major programs anchor the Company’s research platform: DNA/RNA-based Medicines and Small Molecules. Genasense® (oblimersen sodium) Injection is the Company's lead compound from its DNA/RNA Medicines program. Genta is currently recruiting patients to the AGENDA Trial, a global Phase 3 trial of Genasense in patients with advanced melanoma. The leading drug in Genta’s Small Molecule program is Ganite® (gallium nitrate injection), which the Company is exclusively marketing in the U.S. for treatment of symptomatic patients with cancer related hypercalcemia that is resistant to hydration. The Company has developed G4544, an oral formulation of the active ingredient in Ganite, that has recently entered clinical trials as a potential treatment for diseases associated with accelerated bone loss. The Company is also developing tesetaxel, a novel, orally absorbed, semi-synthetic taxane that is in the same class of drugs as paclitaxel and docetaxel. Ganite and Genasense are available on a “named-patient” basis in countries outside the United States. For more information about Genta, please visit our website at:


This press release may contain forward-looking statements with respect to business conducted by Genta Incorporated. By their nature, forward-looking statements and forecasts involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future. Such forward-looking statements include those that express plan, anticipation, intent, contingency, goals, targets, or future developments and/or otherwise are not statements of historical fact. The words “potentially”, “anticipate”, “could”, “calls for”, and similar expressions also identify forward-looking statements. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements. Factors that could affect actual results include, without limitation, risks associated with:

  • the Company’s ability to obtain necessary regulatory approval for Genasense® from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”);
  • the safety and efficacy of the Company’s products or product candidates;
  • the Company’s assessment of its clinical trials;
  • the commencement and completion of clinical trials;
  • the Company’s ability to develop, manufacture, license and sell its products or product candidates;
  • the Company’s ability to enter into and successfully execute license and collaborative agreements, if any;
  • the adequacy of the Company’s capital resources and cash flow projections, the Company’s ability to obtain sufficient financing to maintain the Company’s planned operations, or the Company’s risk of bankruptcy;
  • the adequacy of the Company’s patents and proprietary rights;
  • the impact of litigation that has been brought against the Company; and
  • the other risks described under Certain Risks and Uncertainties Related to the Company’s Business, as contained in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

There are a number of factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially. For a discussion of those risks and uncertainties, please see the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for 2007 and its most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q.

Source: Genta Inc

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