Live from ASH 2023 | Oral Report Featuring Encouraging Data of Olverembatinib Combined with Reduced-Intensity Chemotherapy in Patients with Ph+ ALL Presented at the ASH Annual Meeting

SUZHOU, China, and ROCKVILLE, MD, December 15, 2023—Ascentage Pharma (6855.HK), a global biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing novel therapies for cancer, chronic hepatitis B (CHB), and age-related diseases, announced today that Prof. Xiaoyuan Gong of the Institute of Hematology and Blood Diseases Hospital, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, has presented the preliminary results from a Phase II study of Ascentage Pharma’s novel drug candidate, olverembatinib, combined with reduced-intensity chemotherapy in treatment-naïve patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL), in an Oral Report at the 65th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, taking place in San Diego, CA, the United States.

 The ASH Annual Meeting is one of the largest gatherings of the international hematology community, bringing together the most cutting-edge scientific research and latest data of investigational therapies that represent leading scientific and clinical advances in the global hematology field. Garnering growing interest from the global research community, multiple studies of Ascentage Pharma’s key drug candidates (olverembatinib and lisaftoclax) have been selected for presentations at this year’s ASH Annual Meeting, including two Oral Presentations on olverembatinib. This is the sixth consecutive year in which the clinical results of olverembatinib have been selected for Oral Presentations at the ASH Annual Meeting.

Following the introduction of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), the combination of TKIs and intensive chemotherapy has become a widely adopted treatment for patients with Ph+ ALL because it can offer significantly improved prognosis. However, a large number of patients are ineligible for the treatment because of intolerance to intensive chemotherapy. Clinical results featured in this Oral Presentation demonstrated encouraging clinical benefit and favorable tolerability of olverembatinib, a third-generation TKI, when combined with reduced-intensity chemotherapy in patients with Ph+ ALL, with data showing a complete remission/incomplete hematologic recovery (CR/CRi) rate of 100% in patients treated with the olverembatinib combination regimen; a complete molecular response (CMR) rate of 62.2% in patients who received three cycles of the treatment that was free of intensive chemotherapy or immunotherapy; and a favorable tolerability profile. Compared to the existing data on TKI plus intensive chemotherapy combinations, patients on this combination regimen have a lower need for transfusion and a reduced incidence of infections.

Olverembatinib is a global best-in-class novel drug developed by Ascentage Pharma. As the first and only approved third-generation BCR-ABL inhibitor in China, olverembatinib has been approved for the treatment of adult patients with TKI-resistant chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML-CP) or accelerated-phase CML (CML-AP) harboring the T315I mutation and adult patients with CML-CP resistant and/or intolerant to first- and second-generation TKIs. Olverembatinib is being jointly commercialized in China by Ascentage Pharma and Innovent Biologics.

Prof. Xiaoyuan Gong, commented, “The introduction of high-potency TKIs has made it a real possibility to treat patients with Ph+ ALL with reduced-intensity chemotherapy, or even without chemotherapy, while achieving improved efficacy and safety. As a third-generation TKI, olverembatinib has shown impressive therapeutic potential for the treatment of Ph+ ALL and for its role as a key part of chemotherapy-free regimens.”

“In this study, olverembatinib combined with reduced-intensity chemotherapy continued to demonstrate promising clinical benefit in patients with Ph+ ALL, once again indicating the potential superiority of this third-generation TKI over other TKIs and that an era of chemotherapy-free treatment for patients with Ph+ ALL might be on the horizon,” said Dr. Yifan Zhai, Chief Medical Officer of Ascentage Pharma. “Remaining committed to the mission of addressing unmet clinical needs in China and around the world, we will expedite our clinical development programs to bring safe and effective therapies to patients in need.”

Highlights of the study presented at ASH 2023:

Olverembatinib Combined with Venetoclax and Reduced-Intensity Chemotherapy for Patients with Newly Diagnosed Philadelphia Chromosome-Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Early Results From a Phase II Study

Format: Oral Report

Abstract: #827

Session: 614. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: Therapies, Excluding Transplantation and Cellular Immunotherapies: Optimal Frontline Treatment for ALL

Time: December 11, 2023, Monday; 3:45 PM (Pacific Time) / December 12, 2023, Tuesday; 7:45 AM (Beijing Time)


Background: The combination of olverembatinib (HQP1351), a novel third-generation TKI, with venetoclax generated high response rates in patients with relapsed/refractory (R/R) Ph+ ALL. However, the efficacy and safety of these two agents-based regimens as frontline treatment remains unknown.

Methods: This is a single-arm Phase II study (NCT05594784) that enrolled patients ≥ 14 years (yrs) of age with newly diagnosed Ph+ ALL.

  • In cycle 1, patients were treated with a combination of venetoclax (100 mg on day 1, 200 mg on day 2, 400 mg on day 3-28), olverembatinib (40 mg once every continuously other day [QOD], from day 1-28), vincristine (1.4 mg/m2 [maximum dose 2 mg] on day 1, 8, 15, 22), and prednisone (60 mg/m2 on day 1-14; 40 mg/m2 on day 15-28).
  • In cycle 2-3, oral treatment with venetoclax (400 mg × 7 days), olverembatinib once every other day continuously, and injectable prednisone (60 mg/m2 × 7 days) were administered. Cycles were repeated every 28 days. During cycle 1, the dose of olverembatinib for patients who reached CMR was reduced from 40 mg QOD to 30 mg QOD.
  • The primary endpoint of this study was the rate of CMR at 3 months. CMR was defined as undetectable BCR-ABL1 transcripts by using the RT-PCR method with a sensitivity of 0.001%. Major molecular response (MMR) was defined as more than 3-log reduction of BCR::ABL1 transcripts.

Patients: From August 2022 to July 2023, a total of 45 patients were enrolled. The median age was 42 years (range, 19-74) and males accounted for 48.9%. 31 patients (68.9%) expressed the p190 transcript, and 14 patients (31.1%) expressed the p210 transcript. The median expression level of BCR::ABL1 was 90.3% (range, 25.9%-175.4%).

Efficacy results:

  • All patients have reached CR/CRi. At the end of cycle 1, 53.3% of patients achieved CMR and 28.9% MMR; at the end of cycle 2, 60.0% achieved CMR and 35.6% MMR; at the end of cycle 3, 62.2% achieved CMR and 31.1%
  • As of October 30, 2023, 16 of the 45 patients received autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (Auto-SCT, 1 death), 8 patients received allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (Allo-SCT), 5 patients received olverembatinib combined with blinatumomab, and 16 received olverembatinib combined with chemotherapy. 88.9% (40) of patients achieved CMR during treatment.
  • The median (range) duration of follow-up was 8 (3-14) months, and no patient relapsed during follow-up.

Safety results: The combination regimen was well tolerated and safe. Most adverse events were grade 1-2. The demand for transfusion and the incidence of infections significantly decreased compared to the existing data on intensive chemotherapy plus TKI combinations. No patient discontinued olverembatinib or venetoclax because of toxicity.

 Conclusions: The combination of olverembatinib and venetoclax with reduced-intensity chemotherapy is a safe and effective regimen in patients with newly diagnosed Ph+ ALL. The regimen results in high rates of CMR in the absence of intensive chemotherapy or immunotherapy.

*Olverembatinib is an investigational drug that has not been approved for any indication outside the Chinese mainland.

About Ascentage Pharma

Ascentage Pharma (6855.HK) is a globally focused biopharmaceutical company engaged in developing novel therapies for cancers, chronic hepatitis B, and age-related diseases. On October 28, 2019, Ascentage Pharma was listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited with the stock code 6855.HK.

Ascentage Pharma focuses on developing therapeutics that inhibit protein-protein interactions to restore apoptosis, or programmed cell death. The company has built a pipeline of 9 clinical drug candidates, including novel, highly potent Bcl-2, and dual Bcl-2/
Bcl-xL inhibitors, as well as candidates aimed at IAP and MDM2-p53 pathways, and next-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). Ascentage Pharma is also the only company in the world with active clinical programs targeting all three known classes of key apoptosis regulators. The company is conducting more than 40 Phase I/II clinical trials in the US, Australia, Europe, and China. Ascentage Pharma has been designated for multiple Major National R&D Projects, including five Major New Drug Projects, one New Drug Incubator status, four Innovative Drug Programs, and one Major Project for the Prevention and Treatment of Infectious Diseases.

Olverembatinib, the company’s core drug candidate developed for the treatment of drug-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and the company’s first approved product, has been granted Priority Review Designations and Breakthrough Therapy Designations by the Center for Drug Evaluation (CDE) of China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA). To date, the drug had been included into the China 2022 National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL). Furthermore, olverembatinib has been granted an Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) and a Fast Track Designation (FTD) by the US FDA, and an Orphan Designation by the EMA of the EU. To date, Ascentage Pharma has obtained a total of 16 ODDs, 2 FTDs, and 2 Rare Pediatric Disease (RPD) Designations from the US FDA and 1 Orphan Designation from the EMA of the EU for 4 of the company’s investigational drug candidates.

Leveraging its robust R&D capabilities, Ascentage Pharma has built a portfolio of global intellectual property rights and entered into global partnerships with numerous renowned biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and research institutes such as UNITY Biotechnology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, MSD, and AstraZeneca. The company has built a talented team with global experience in the discovery and development of innovative drugs and is setting up its world-class commercial manufacturing and Sales & Marketing teams. One pivotal aim of Ascentage Pharma is to continuously strengthen its R&D capabilities and accelerate its clinical development programs, in order to fulfil its mission of addressing unmet clinical needs in China and around the world for the benefit of more patients.

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