Background: Aurora kinases represent potential targets for anticancer therapy in solid tumors and hematological malignancies. In a phase I/II study, the aurora B kinase inhibitor AZD1152 (barasertib) showed benefit (35% CR/CRi) in patients (pts) with untreated AML when given as a 7-day continuous infusion (Lowenberg B et al, Blood 2011, Kantarjian HG et al., Cancer 2013). AZD2811 nanoparticle is a novel, encapsulated slow-release inhibitor of Aurora kinase B offering several advantages compared with AZD1152, including prolonged drug release in vivo. AZD2811 nanoparticle mimics the AZD1152 7-day continuous infusion when given as a 2-hr infusion on Day 1 and 4, and resulted in increased efficacy and decreased toxicity in vivo. We report the first-in-man dose-escalation of AZD2811 nanoparticle in pts with relapsed AML/MDS or treatment-naïve patients not eligible for intensive induction therapy. The objectives were to determine the safety profile, MTD, PK, dosing schedule and preliminary efficacy of AZD2811 nanoparticle. Methods: Patients received a single 2-hour IV infusion on Day 1 and 4 of each 28-day cycle. Based on the previous experience with AZD1152 in the same patient population, the expected MTD is in a range of 1,200 mg per cycle. In the ongoing dose escalation, cohorts of 3-6 patients have been sequentially enrolled in 4 cohorts ranging from 100 mg to 600 mg per infusion on Day 1 and 4 every 28 days, i.e. from 200 mg to 1,200 mg per cycle. Patients were allowed to continue to receive AZD2811 until disease progression, tolerability, or discontinuation criteria have been met. The study uses a Bayesian adaptive design approach to dose escalation to improve the efficiency and precision of the MTD estimation compared to a traditional 3+3 design. Results: Currently, 10 pts with age ranges from 56 to 86 years have completed DLT assessment period for the first 3 cohorts. 9 patients had relapsed/refractory secondary AML/MDS after failure of hypomethylating agents and 1 patient had a relapsed, therapy-related AML. Cohort 4 (600 mg per infusion D1 and D4) is currently under evaluation. Of the 10 pts in cohorts 1-3, 7 pts discontinued due to disease progression, 1 discontinued due to subject decision/consent withdrawal, 1 discontinued due to physician decision, and 1 pt is active and ongoing. AEs assessed as related to AZD2811 that occurred in one or more patients were Grade 3/4 neutropenia/thrombocytopenia, Grade 3 anemia and Grade 1 fatigue, rash and stomatitis. Thus far, no DLTs and no fatal AEs related to AZD2811 have been observed. 2 deaths have been reported, 1 due to the underlying disease and 1 due to a Serious Adverse Event of Gr 5 Sepsis (not related to study drug). AZD2811 total blood PK appears dose proportional with a t1/2 of 30-50 hours. Conclusion: AZD2811 nanoparticle is safe and well tolerated at a dose up to 400 mg on Day 1 and 4 every 28-days. The monotherapy dose escalation is ongoing and updated results including preliminary efficacy data and supporting preclinical data will be presented. Additional dose finding and expansion cohorts of AZD2811 nanoparticle in combination with azacytidine and venetoclax are planned.


Atallah:Novartis: Consultancy; Abbvie: Consultancy; BMS: Consultancy; Jazz: Consultancy; Pfizer: Consultancy. Charlton:AstraZeneca: Employment. MacDonald:AstraZeneca: Employment. Young:AstraZeneca: Employment. Sainsbury:AstraZeneca: Employment. Overend:AstraZeneca: Employment. Adelman:AstraZeneca: Employment. Travers:AstraZeneca: Employment. Smith:AstraZeneca: Employment. Pease:AstraZeneca: Employment. Brugger:AstraZeneca: Employment.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.