Background: Simtuzumab (SIM) is a humanized monoclonal antibody that inhibits lysyl oxidase-like molecule 2 (LOXL2), an extracellular matrix enzyme that catalyzes the covalent cross-linking of collagen and is widely expressed across many fibrotic diseases. In pre-clinical models, inhibition of LOXL2 blocks fibroblast activation, which plays an important role in the development of organ fibrosis. In Phase 1 studies, SIM was well-tolerated in patients (pts) with advanced solid tumors, liver fibrosis, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). A Phase 2, open-label study to determine the efficacy of SIM alone (Stage 1) and combined with ruxolitinib (rux) (Stage 2) in pts with primary myelofibrosis (PMF) and post-ET/PV MF was initiated.
Methods: Eligible pts had intermediate-1, intermediate-2, or high risk disease and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of <2. The primary endpoint was rate of clinical response as defined by a reduction in bone marrow fibrosis score following 24 weeks of treatment with SIM. Patients were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive 200 mg or 700 mg SIM by intravenous infusion every 2 weeks as monotherapy (Stage 1, n=24) or combined with rux (Stage 2, n=30). Patients received SIM for up to 24 weeks. Bone marrow biopsies and aspirates were performed approximately every 3 months. Bone marrow fibrosis scoring was performed and quantified at local investigator sites using the European Consensus on Grading Bone Marrow Fibrosis. Myelofibrosis symptoms were evaluated using the Myeloproliferative Neoplasm Symptom Assessment Form (MPN-SAF) and changes in hematologic parameters and splenomegaly were assessed.
Results: Between 7/14/11 and 9/22/14, 54 pts were randomized and treated (200 mg SIM [n=12], 700 mg SIM [n=12], 200 mg SIM/rux [n=15], and 700 mg SIM/rux [n=15]). In Stage 1, 0 subjects (0%) in the SIM 200 mg group and 2 subjects (16.7%; 90% CI 3.0%, 43.8%) in the SIM 700 mg group showed a reduction in bone marrow fibrosis score from Baseline to Week 24. In Stage 2, 1 subject (6.7%; 90% CI 0.3%, 27.9%) in the SIM 200 mg/rux group and 2 subjects (13.3%, 90% CI 2.4%, 36.3%) in the SIM 700 mg/rux group showed a reduction in bone marrow fibrosis score from Baseline to Week 24. In an exploratory analysis, similar numbers of subjects showed increases in bone marrow fibrosis scores. SIM treatment was not associated with meaningful improvements in hematologic parameters or reductions in MPN-SAF score or spleen size. The most frequent adverse events were those commonly associated with MF, including constitutional symptoms and reductions in hematological parameters.
Conclusions: SIM treatment alone or in combination with rux is safe but does not reliably reduce bone marrow fibrosis in pts with MF. The reason for reduction of marrow fibrosis in some patients and increase in others is unclear and may be sampling variability. Clinical studies of SIM in IPF and liver fibrosis are ongoing.
Savona:Karyopharm: Consultancy, Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; Incyte: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees, Research Funding; TG Therapeutics: Research Funding; Astex Pharmaceuticals, Inc: Research Funding; Celgene: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Gilead: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Novartis: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Mesa:Incyte Corporation: Research Funding; CTI Biopharma: Research Funding; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation: Consultancy; Pfizer: Research Funding; Promedior: Research Funding; Genentech: Research Funding; NS Pharma: Research Funding; Gilead: Research Funding. Oh:CTI Biopharma: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees; Incyte: Membership on an entity's Board of Directors or advisory committees. Dong:Gilead Sciences: Consultancy, Equity Ownership. Thai:Gilead Sciences: Employment, Equity Ownership. Gotlib:Allakos, Inc.: Consultancy.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.