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KineMed Biomarker Studies in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Reveal Groundbreaking Approach for Guiding Patient Management and Drug Development

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KineMed, Inc. recently announced that two Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) studies utilizing KineMed’s proprietary kinetic biomarker technology, will be presented at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting taking place this weekend in San Francisco, California. KineMed’s CLL research collaborators, Jan A. Burger, MD, Ph.D., of the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Elizabeth J. Murphy, MD, DPhil, from the at the University of California San Francisco Department of Medicine and representing the CLL Research Consortium investigators, will present the studies at the conference.

Dr. Murphy’s presentation titled “Kinetic Measurement of Leukemia-Cell Proliferation Rate by Deuterium Labeling Predicts Time to Initial Treatment of Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia”, confirms that KineMed’s CLL biomarker can prospectively identify patients who require early drug intervention and distinguish them from those who will not need treatment over 3-5 years. More than 100 patients with early-stage disease, which may either remain asymptomatic for years or may progress rapidly, were followed longitudinally after measurement of KineMed’s CLL biomarker of leukemic cell proliferation rate at the time of enrollment. KineMed’s biomarker by itself predicted disease progression and, when combined with measurement of CLL gene mutation, provided better separation of indolent disease from progressive disease than use of previously available tests allowed.

Dr. Burger’s presentation is titled “Functional Evidence from Deuterated Water Labeling That the Bruton Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor Ibrutinib Blocks Leukemia Cell Proliferation and Trafficking and Promotes Leukemia Cell Death in Patients with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and Small Lymphocytic Lymphoma”. The focus of this study is the mode of action of the anti-CLL drug ibrutinib, marketed by Pharmacyclics as Imbruvica™. Ibrutinib, represents a new class of highly effective drugs and was fast-tracked for approval by the FDA. By use of KineMed’s biomarker in CLL patents, it was demonstrated that not only does ibrutinib increase the rate of cancer cell death; it also decreased the rate of cancer cell proliferation. Moreover, the well-established initial increase in leukemic cell counts in blood after initiation of ibrutinib therapy was not due to proliferation of new tumor cells, but was due to release of tumor cells from tissues into blood. This study represents the first evidence of mode of action for this class of anti-CLL drugs and supports the beneficial effects of ibrutinib treatment on CLL tumor cell dynamics.

According to the America Cancer Society and the Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Foundation, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia is the most common form of adult Leukemia in the United States and the western world, accounting for about one-third of all new cases of leukemia. In the US, 8,100 new cases are diagnosed each year and 4,600 Americans will die each year as a result of CLL.     

The time and location of the two presentations to be given at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting are listed below:

Elizabeth J. Murphy, MD, DPhil, will give her presentation in the session titled “CLL: Biology and Pathophysiology, Excluding Therapy: Novel Prognosticator and Therapeutic Targets”, taking place Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 7:30 AM PST, in the South Building, Esplanade 302, in the Moscone Center.

Dr. Burger’s presentation will be part of the session titled “CLL: Therapy, Excluding Transplantation: Novel Therapeutics”, taking place Monday, December 8th, 7:15 AM PST, in the West Building, 3001-3003-3014-3016, in the Moscone Center.

Source: Business Wire