Onconova Therapeutics Reports First Quarter 2023 Financial Results, Provides Business Update

Onconova Therapeutics

NEWTOWN, PA —  Onconova Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONTX) announced financial results for the three months ended March 31, 2023, and provided a business update.

Highlights for the first quarter of 2023 and recent weeks include:

  • The first participant was dosed in the Phase 1/2a trial of narazaciclib combined with letrozole in recurrent metastatic low-grade endometrioid endometrial cancer (LGEEC). The trial remains on track for a preliminary data readout from its Phase 1 portion in the fourth quarter of this year.
  • Safety data from the Phase 1 solid tumor trial evaluating a continuous daily dosing schedule of narazaciclib continue to be encouraging with the maximum tolerated dose awaiting confirmation. The trial has enrolled patients in its sixth dose escalation cohort, which evaluates a 240 mg oral dose of narazaciclib.
  • Two posters presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting featured the results of preclinical studies of narazaciclib. Data showed that, in addition to inhibiting kinases such as CDK 4 and CDK 6, narazaciclib treatment led to the degradation of other kinases not targeted by the FDA-approved CDK 4/6 inhibitor palbociclib. These kinases included BUB1, the overexpression of which was shown to be associated with poor prognosis in breast cancer and uterine corpus endometrial carcinomas. In addition, data presented showed that narazaciclib’s activity in several preclinical cancer models compared favorably to that of FDA-approved CDK 4/6 inhibitors.
  • The second of two evaluable participants in the investigator-sponsored Phase 2 program evaluating rigosertib monotherapy in advanced squamous cell carcinoma complicating recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB-associated SCC) achieved a complete clinical response of all cancerous skin lesions following four treatment cycles of oral rigosertib. Thus, both patients evaluable for response achieved complete cutaneous remissions (CCR). This data and the rational for the study of rigosertib in RDEB-SCC was presented at the recent meeting of the Society of Investigative Dermatology Meeting in Osaka, Japan. Onconova has requested a Type B Meeting to review these initial data with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with the goal of identifying the optimal regulatory path for rigosertib in RDEB-associated SCC. Onconova expects to provide an update on the Type B meeting after it has received written feedback from the agency.
  • Rigosertib’s additional investigator-sponsored trials continue to progress. A Phase 2 trial of rigosertib combined with Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy KEYTRYDA® (pembrolizumab) in checkpoint inhibitor refractory melanoma recently opened for enrollment. The Phase 1/2a trial of rigosertib in combination with Bristol Meyer Squibb’s OPDIVO® (nivolumab) in KRAS-mutated non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is ongoing. Based on previously reported data that showed an encouraging signal of efficacy and that the studied doublet was well tolerated. The NSCLC trial protocol has been amended to add cohorts evaluating increasing doses of rigosertib in combination with the standard dose of nivolumab. Data from these additional cohorts are expected alongside updated data from the trial’s earlier cohorts in 2023.
  • Onconova recently entered into a collaboration agreement with Pangea Biomed. The collaboration will leverage Pangea Biomed’s proprietary algorithmic platform, ENLIGHT, with the goal of identifying biomarkers of response to rigosertib. Onconova retains all rights to rigosertib and will own intellectual property that may result from the research collaboration.
  • Preclinical data characterizing rigosertib’s multi-faceted mechanism of action were recently featured in a poster presentation at the AACR Targeting RAS Conference.
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Management Commentary
“Recent progress has us approaching important clinical and regulatory milestones expected later this year,” said Steven M. Fruchtman, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Onconova. “We recently dosed the first participant in our Phase 1/2a trial of narazaciclib plus letrozole in recurrent metastatic LGEEC. This trial is supported by prior clinical data providing proof-of-concept for the studied doublet’s mechanism of action, as well as preclinical and Phase 1 results that suggest narazaciclib can overcome the shortcomings of the off-label agents current combined with letrozole to treat this indication. Collectively, these data fuel our enthusiasm for the program as we advance towards a preliminary data readout expected in the fourth quarter.”

Dr. Fruchtman continued, “In rigosertib’s RDEB-associated SCC program, we have requested a Type B meeting to discuss our encouraging clinical data with the FDA and expect to provide an important regulatory update following the meeting. Though from a small number of patients, these data have far exceeded our expectations, with both of the program’s participants achieving durable, complete clinical responses of all cancerous skin lesions on rigosertib monotherapy. Given the strength of these data, the ultra-rare nature of RDEB-associated SCC, and the stark limitations of currently available therapies, we are committed to working with the agency to determine the best, most expeditious path towards a potential approval.”

First Quarter Financial Results
Cash and cash equivalents as of March 31, 2023 were $34.2 million compared with $38.8 million as of December 31, 2022. The company believes that its cash and cash equivalents will be sufficient to fund ongoing clinical trials and business operations into the first quarter of 2024.

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Research and development expenses were $4.1 million for the first quarter of 2023, compared with $2.0 million for the first quarter of 2022.

General and administrative expenses were $2.1 million for the first quarter of 2023, compared with $2.2 million for the first quarter of 2022.

Net loss for the first quarter of 2023 was $5.8 million, or $0.28 per share on 20.9 million weighted shares outstanding, compared with a net loss of $4.1 million, or $0.20 per share for the first quarter of 2022 on 20.9 million weighted shares outstanding.

For more information, visit www.onconova.com.

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