SOURCE: Cellceutix


February 22, 2016 09:30 ET

Assay Results From Cellceutix Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Kevetrin for Cancer Show Increased p21 Expression in 67.5% of Evaluable Patients

BEVERLY, MA--(Marketwired - February 22, 2016) - Cellceutix Corporation (OTC: CTIX) (the "Company"), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies with oncology, dermatology, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic applications, is pleased to release the latest p21 data from the recently completed Phase 1 trial of Kevetrin for patients with advanced solid tumors.

Cancer is an extremely complex disease, with many different types falling under a general category. For instance, there are dozens of types of ovarian cancer, categorized by the type of cell from which they originate. While many are treated in the same manner, scientists are working to try and determine if certain types, such as epithelial, need to be treated differently than others, such as the serous type. These differences can be culprits in the failure of many experimental drugs to have efficacious results in clinical trials, which once looked promising in the laboratory. In Cellceutix's view, the best likelihood for success with a new drug is for it to identify and target a common factor across the different tumor variations. In our planned clinical trial for treating ovarian cancer, the commonality that Kevetrin is being developed to target is the key tumor suppressor p53, a protein that is typically damaged or dormant in ovarian cancer, as well as cancers of different origins.

The Phase 1 study, conducted at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and partner Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, evaluated not only the safety and pharmacokinetics of Kevetrin, but also assessed changes in p21 expression in peripheral blood monocytes as a measure of p53 activation resulting from Kevetrin treatment. Expression of p21, a potent cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, is tightly controlled by the tumor suppressor protein p53, also known as the "Guardian Angel of the Human Genome."

A total of 48 patients in the study received Kevetrin and final p21 expression data are now available for 40 patients; samples could not be analyzed for 8 patients. Samples were collected at 7 and 24 hours after the initiation of the first Kevetrin infusion. Regardless of tumor type, a total of 27 of the 40 patients (67.5%) had increases in p21 expression relative to pre-treatment levels. For the patients with the greatest increases at either 7 hours or 24 hours, the mean percent increase at 7 hours (10 patients) was 38.5% (median 22%) and at 24 hours (17 patients) the mean percent increase was 24.5% (median 17%). For those patients who received Kevetrin at doses of ≤ 165 mg/m2 the mean percent increase was 21.7% (n=11), and for patients who received Kevetrin at doses ranging from 215 mg/m2 to 750 mg/m2 the mean percent increase was 35.2% (n=17).

These data confirm the ability of Kevetrin to activate p53, as shown in a majority of the patients in this study. In addition, the detection of p21 expression at 24 hours after Kevetrin administration, coupled with the known short half-life of Kevetrin in plasma, is consistent with an intracellular site of action of Kevetrin. Finally, the suggestion of a dose-response in p21 expression with higher Kevetrin doses will be further evaluated in the planned clinical study in patients with ovarian carcinoma.

"In past releases, we have discussed disease stabilization and reduction of cancerous lesions in some patients treated with Kevetrin," said Leo Ehrlich, Chief Executive Officer at Cellceutix. "Now, this new p21 data only reinforces our high expectations for and confidence in Kevetrin, specifically, its potential to treat patients across a broad spectrum of cancer types and even those in late stages with refractory tumors. It is exciting to see our early clinical work in the lab translating to the bedside."


Sign-up for Cellceutix email alerts is available at

Cellceutix clinical trials on

About Cellceutix:
Headquartered in Beverly, Massachusetts, Cellceutix is a publicly traded company under the symbol "CTIX". Cellceutix is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies in multiple diseases. Cellceutix believes it has a world-class portfolio of compounds and is now engaged in advancing its compounds and seeking strategic partnerships. Cellceutix's anti-cancer drug Kevetrin concluded a Phase 1 clinical trial at Harvard Cancer Centers' Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Cellceutix is now preparing its FDA application for a Phase 2 ovarian cancer study. In the laboratory Kevetrin has shown to induce activation of p53, often referred to as the "Guardian Angel Gene" due to its crucial role in controlling cell mutations. Cellceutix is in a Phase 2 clinical trial with its novel compound Brilacidin-OM for the prevention of Oral Mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer. Brilacidin-OM, a defensin mimetic compound, has shown in an animal model to reduce the occurrence of severe ulcerative oral mucositis by more than 94% compared to placebo. Cellceutix's anti-psoriasis drug Prurisol is in a Phase 2 trial. Prurisol is a small molecule that acts through immune modulation and PRINS reduction. Cellceutix's lead antibiotic, Brilacidin, has completed a Phase 2b trial for Acute Bacterial Skin and Skin Structure Infections, or ABSSSI. Top-line data have shown a single dose of Brilacidin to deliver comparable clinical outcomes to the FDA-approved seven-day dosing regimen of daptomycin. Brilacidin has the potential to be a single-dose therapy for certain multi-drug resistant bacteria (Superbugs). Cellceutix has formed research collaborations with world-renowned research institutions in the United States and Europe, including MD Anderson Cancer Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and the University of Bologna. More information is available on the Cellceutix web site at

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause Cellceutix's actual results and experience to differ materially from anticipated results and expectations expressed in these forward looking statements. Cellceutix has in some cases identified forward-looking statements by using words such as "anticipates," "believes," "hopes," "estimates," "looks," "expects," "plans," "intends," "goal," "potential," "may," "suggest," and similar expressions. Among other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements are Cellceutix's need for, and the availability of, substantial capital in the future to fund its operations and research and development; including the amount and timing of the sale of shares of common stock to Aspire Capital; the fact that Cellceutix's compounds may not successfully complete pre-clinical or clinical testing, or be granted regulatory approval to be sold and marketed in the United States or elsewhere. A more complete description of these risk factors is included in Cellceutix's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Cellceutix undertakes no obligation to release publicly the results of any revisions to any such forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by applicable law or regulation.

Contact Information

    Cellceutix Corporation
    Leo Ehrlich
    Email contact