Rafael Pharmaceuticals Announces Expansion into South Korea of Pivotal Phase 3 Trial of CPI-613® (devimistat) in Patients with Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

Newark, New Jersey, UNITED STATES

Cranbury, NJ, Oct. 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rafael Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Rafael” or the “Company”), a leader in the growing field of cancer metabolism-based therapeutics, today announced that the Phase 3 clinical trial (PANC 003) of CPI-613® (devimistat) for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer is now active in four sites in South Korea.

“There is a pressing need to treat patients with pancreatic cancer in South Korea, as it is one of the top five causes of cancer deaths in the country,” said Sanjeev Luther, President and CEO of Rafael Pharmaceuticals. “The expansion of the trial to this region is crucial in our attempt at treating pancreatic cancer patients globally who are in need of another clinical option.”

The study, which recently hit a milestone enrollment of 100 patients and is currently in multiple sites across the United States, Israel and Europe, will now expand to the following four sites in South Korea: Kyungpook National University Chilgok Hospital, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital (SSMH) of The Catholic University of Korea, and National Cancer Center Korea (NCCK).

“Over 82,000 cancer deaths are expected to occur in Korea this year, with pancreatic cancer being among the most common causes,” said Philip A. Philip, Professor of Oncology at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University and principal investigator on the global trial. “I am hopeful that bringing the devimistat trial for pancreatic cancer to the region will change the lives of patients battling this debilitating disease.”

This announcement comes on the heels of the expansion of devimistat trials for patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in South Korea.

About CPI-613® (devimistat)
CPI-613® (devimistat) is a first-in-class clinical lead compound of Rafael, which targets enzymes that are involved in cancer cell energy metabolism and are located in the mitochondria of cancer cells. Devimistat is designed to target the mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, a process essential to tumor cell multiplication and survival, selectively in cancer cells. Devimistat substantially increases the sensitivity of cancer cells to a diverse range of chemotherapeutic agents. This synergy allows for potential combinations of devimistat with lower doses of these generally toxic drugs to be more effective with lower patient’s side effects. Combination with devimistat represent a diverse range of opportunities to substantially improve patient’s benefit in many different cancers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given Rafael approval to initiate pivotal Phase 3 clinical trials in pancreatic cancer (AVENGER 500) and acute myeloid leukemia (ARMADA 2000), and has designated devimistat as an orphan drug for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, acute myeloid leukemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, peripheral T-cell lymphoma and Burkitt’s lymphoma. The EMA has granted orphan drug designation to devimistat for pancreatic cancer and acute myeloid leukemia.

About Rafael Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Rafael Pharmaceuticals is a leader in the growing field of cancer metabolism. The company is developing a new, first-in-class category of metabolic oncology therapeutics that attack hard-to-treat cancers by targeting the metabolic processes the disease needs to survive, grow and proliferate. Rafael Pharmaceuticals’ lead compound, CPI-613® (devimistat), is a highly selective, well-tolerated and effective anti-cancer agent that is being evaluated in ongoing and completed Phase 1, 2 and 3 clinical trials. Devimistat has been granted orphan drug status by the FDA for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, acute myeloid leukemia (AML), myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and Burkitt’s and peripheral T-cell lymphomas. The Company's investors include Rafael Holdings, Inc. (NYSE AMERICAN: RFL). For more information, please visit www.rafaelpharma.com.

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Rafael Media Contact:
Holly Dugan
(201) 465-8019