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Sunesis Announces Publication Of Vosaroxin Phase 1b/2 AML Trial Results In Haematologica


Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNSS) today announced the online publication of results from the Company's Phase 1b/2 study of vosaroxin in combination with cytarabine in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in the November 7, 2014 Ahead of Print issue of Haematologica. The article, titled "A Phase 1b/2 study of combination vosaroxin and cytarabine in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia," is available online at

"Acute myeloid leukemia is a complex, genetically heterogeneous cancer for which there has been no advancement in drug treatment in over 40 years," stated Dr. Jeffrey Lancet, Senior Member and Professor of Oncologic Sciences at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida and lead author of the publication. "In this study, we see that vosaroxin, in combination with cytarabine, is active and well tolerated. These results were mirrored in the Phase 3 VALOR trial, which demonstrated clinically meaningful outcomes supported by encouraging response rates and a manageable safety profile.

The Phase 1b/2 study assessed the safety and tolerability of vosaroxin plus cytarabine in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia. Escalating vosaroxin doses (10-minute infusion; 10-90 mg/m2 on days 1, 4) were given in combination with cytarabine on 1 of 2 schedules: schedule A (24-hour continuous intravenous infusion, 400 mg/m2 per day on days 1-5) or schedule B (2-hour intravenous infusion, 1 g/m2 per day on days 1-5). Following dose escalation, enrollment was expanded at the maximum tolerated dose. The maximum tolerated dose for schedule A was vosaroxin 80 mg/m2 (dose-limiting toxicities: grade 3 bowel obstruction and stomatitis); the maximum tolerated dose was not reached for schedule B (recommended phase 2 dose: 90 mg/m2).

The median age in the study was 60 years, and patients had received as many as 6 prior cycles of therapy. Furthermore, most patients (89%) had intermediate or unfavorable cytogenetic risk status. The most common treatment-emergent nonhematologic adverse events of any grade were diarrhea, hypokalemia, nausea, and stomatitis. In the efficacy population, (all first relapsed or primary refractory patients treated with vosaroxin 80-90 mg/m2; n=69), the complete remission (CR) and combined CR rates (CR or CR with incomplete blood count recovery) were 25% and 28%, respectively. Thirty-day all-cause mortality was 2.5% among all patients treated at 80-90 mg/m2. Based upon these results, the phase 3 VALOR trial of vosaroxin plus cytarabine was initiated in patients with first relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia.

"The results published in Haematologica online were the foundation for the VALOR trial, among the largest studies ever conducted in the relapsed or refractory AML setting," said Adam Craig, Chief Medical Officer of Sunesis. "Based on the outcome of VALOR, we plan to submit a Marketing Authorization Application for vosaroxin and look forward to discussing the data with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We also look forward to building upon these and other data for vosaroxin in AML through investigator-sponsored studies."

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