Starpharma announces new data for prostate cancer trial

shutterstock prostate

Cabazitaxel (Jevtana, Sanofi) is a chemotherapy for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer (mCRPC).  

Developed by Australian biotech company Starpharma, DEP cabazitaxel is a patented, highly water soluble dendrimer nanoparticle version of standard cabazitaxel that has shown, in preclinical and clinical studies, benefits in terms of safety and efficacy.

In a poster presentation at ESMO (European Society of Medical Oncology) by principal investigator of the Starpharma trial, Robert Jones of the Velindre Cancer Centre in Wales, new data on what the company said is the superior efficacy and lower incidence of key side effects in mCRPC patients was presented.

‘Multiple potential benefits’, according to Starpharma

Starpharma said DEP cabazitaxel showed multiple potential benefits for patients with mCRPC, including a greater than 30% improvement in median progression free survival (PFS; time a patient lives without disease progression following treatment) compared to standard cabazitaxel – 3.9 months versus 2.9 months respectively.

The trial also showed 100% of evaluable DEP cabazitaxel patients achieved a response in at least one measure of efficacy (soft tissue disease, prostate specific antigen and/or bone disease). There was also a lower incidence of severe (Grade 3 or 4) treatment related adverse events (TRAEs) compared to standard cabazitaxel – 7.5% versus 39.7% respectively.

No severe hypersensitivity reactions were observed, or steroid pre-medication required, and only two patients required prophylactic G-CSF (used after chemotherapy to help white blood cells recover) in contrast to standard cabazitaxel.

Patients enrolled had an average age of 73 and were heavily pre-treated before entering the study (with an average of four other cancer treatment types – 70 cycles/months), in addition to surgery and radiation.  

Starpharma said 96% had also previously received either docetaxel and/or standard cabazitaxel (Jevtana). The company added this age group and level of pre-treatment is important to note because these patients would not be expected to respond as well to further similar therapies and are at higher risk of neutropenic complications.

Starpharma CEO Jackie Fairley said: “These results show DEP cabazitaxel achieved both a longer duration of PFS and fewer severe side effects compared to published data on Jevtana, illustrating the potential for DEP cabazitaxel to provide better outcomes for mCRPC patients.”

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