Rafael Pharmaceuticals Crosses Enrollment of 100th Patient in Pivotal Phase 3 Trial (ARMADA 2000) of CPI-613® (Devimistat) for Relapsed or Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

Company continues meeting enrollment milestones across clinical trials amid the COVID-19 pandemic, putting patient safety first

CRANBURY, N.J., Oct. 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rafael Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Rafael” or the “Company”), a leader in the growing field of cancer metabolism-based therapeutics, announced today that it has crossed the enrollment of 100 patients in its Phase 3 clinical trial (Armada 2000) for patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The multicenter, open-label, randomized pivotal trial is assessing the efficacy and safety of Rafael’s lead compound CPI-613® (devimistat) in combination with high dose cytarabine and mitoxantrone (CHAM) compared to high dose cytarabine and mitoxantrone (HAM) therapy in older patients. The announcement comes on the heels of the Company’s milestone enrollment of 500 patients in its Phase 3 clinical trial for advanced pancreatic cancer.  

“Our patients don’t have the time to wait for the pandemic to subside before seeking treatment since cancer doesn’t wait, and for many, this trial is their last chance at remission or improved outcomes,” said Sanjeev Luther, President and CEO of Rafael Pharmaceuticals. “We thank our colleagues and our partners who helped us achieve this significant milestone, and the FDA for working with us to find a process that allows us to safely keep our clinical trials open to care for these patients, and we will continue to implement the safety protocols moving forward.”  

The American Cancer Association estimates that in 2020 alone, there will be nearly 20,000 new cases of AML. AML accountly for only 1% of all cancers making the patient population rare and more difficult to understand and treat.   

“The five-year survival rate for adult patients with refractory or relapsed AML is 25% or less, and treatment options that have made a significant impact in improving these rates, have not been identified,” said Jorge Cortes, M.D., Director of the Georgia Cancer Center at Augusta University and principal investigator on the Phase 3 clinical trial. “I continue to remain hopeful with each patient enrolled that we can give those diagnosed more options to fight this devastating disease.”  

“We are grateful to have Dr. Cortes leading this trial,” said Timothy S. Pardee, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Chief Medical Officer of the Company. “It is largely due to his extensive background in clinical research that we have been able to continue meeting milestone enrollments like this, while still taking every precaution necessary to conduct the study safely during the pandemic.”  

The clinical trial is currently active in more than 60 sites, running in countries including the United States, Canada, Europe, South Korea and Australia.  

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 represents 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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