Geron Corporation announced that the first patient has been dosed in the IMerge Phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate imetelstat, a first-in-class telomerase inhibitor, in lower risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).
“Patients with lower risk MDS become dependent on serial transfusions which leads to iron overload, heart and kidney complications, decreases in quality of life and shorter overall survival. Reducing transfusion burden and achieving transfusion independence remain significant medical needs for this disease,” said Aleksandra Rizo, M.D., Ph.D., Geron’s Chief Medical Officer. “Dosing of the first patient in the IMerge Phase 3 clinical trial is an important step in developing imetelstat as a potential alternative for patients with lower risk MDS who have limited treatment options available today.”
IMerge is a two-part Phase 2/3 clinical trial of imetelstat in transfusion dependent patients with lower risk MDS who are relapsed after or refractory to erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs). The Phase 3 is planned to enroll approximately 170 patients in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to test the hypothesis that imetelstat improves the rate of red blood cell transfusion independence (TI). A target patient population of non-del(5q) lower risk MDS patients who are naïve to treatment with hypomethylating agents (HMAs) and lenalidomide was identified in Part 1 of IMerge, or the Phase 2 portion, and will be enrolled in the Phase 3. The trial is planned to be conducted at multiple medical centers globally, including North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia. The primary endpoint is 8-week TI rate, which is defined as the proportion of patients achieving transfusion independence during any consecutive eight weeks since entry into the trial. Key secondary endpoints include the rate of transfusion independence lasting at least 24 weeks, or 24-week TI rate, durability of transfusion independence and the amount and relative change in transfusions.
Recently reported Phase 2 datafrom Part 1 of IMerge suggested meaningful and durable transfusion independence, as well as potential disease-modifying activity and transfusion independence across different MDS patient subgroups, potentially achievable with imetelstat treatment. Many key aspects from Part 1 of IMerge remain the same for the Phase 3, including the primary and secondary endpoints, the dose and schedule of imetelstat administration, the target patient population, and a majority of the participating clinical sites.
Based upon current planning assumptions, Geron expects top-line results for the IMerge Phase 3 clinical trial to be available by mid-year 2022.
To learn more about the IMerge Phase 3 clinical trial and whether the study is enrolling patients in your area, please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
About Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Myelodysplastic syndromes are a group of diverse blood disorders that develop because bone marrow cells do not mature into healthy blood cells. Many patients develop chronic anemia, the predominant clinical problem in lower risk MDS, and become dependent on red blood cell transfusions. There are approximately 60,000 people living with the disease in the United States.
Imetelstat is a novel, first-in-class telomerase inhibitor exclusively owned by Geron and being developed in hematologic myeloid malignancies. Early clinical data suggest imetelstat may have disease-modifying activity through the suppression of malignant progenitor cell clone proliferation, which allows potential recovery of normal hematopoiesis. Ongoing clinical studies of imetelstat consist of IMerge, a Phase 2/3 trial in lower risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), and IMbark, a Phase 2 trial in Intermediate-2 or High-risk myelofibrosis (MF). Imetelstat has been granted Fast Track designation by the United States Food and Drug Administration for both the treatment of patients with non-del(5q) lower risk MDS who are refractory or resistant to an erythropoiesis-stimulating agent and for patients with Intermediate-2 or High-risk MF whose disease has relapsed after or is refractory to janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor treatment. – BioSpace