CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Leap Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:LPTX), a biotechnology company focused on developing targeted and immuno-oncology therapeutics, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the Company orphan drug designation for DKN-01 for the treatment of gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancer. DKN-01 is a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to and blocks the activity of the Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) protein, a modulator of Wnt/Beta-catenin signaling.
"Orphan Drug Designation for DKN-01 in gastric and gastroesophageal junction cancer is another significant milestone in our DKN-01 development program and underscores the need for new treatment options for these indications," said Douglas E. Onsi, President and Chief Executive Officer of Leap. "We believe DKN-01 has the potential to be an important new therapy for this patient population that remains an area of high unmet medical need."
The FDA's Office of Orphan Drug Products grants orphan status to support development of medicines for underserved patient populations, or rare disorders, that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. Orphan drug designation provides to Leap certain benefits, including market exclusivity upon regulatory approval if received, exemption of FDA application fees and tax credits for qualified clinical trials.
DKN-01 is currently being evaluated in Phase 1/2 and Phase 2 clinical trials for gastroesophageal, gynecologic, hepatobiliary, and prostate cancers. Site initiation activities are now underway for the Company's combination study of DKN-01 plus tislelizumab, BeiGene, Ltd.'s anti-PD-1 antibody, in patients with gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer with dosing of the first patients expected in the third quarter of 2020.
DKN-01 is a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to and blocks the activity of the Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) protein, a modulator of Wnt/Beta-catenin signaling, a signaling pathway frequently implicated in tumorigenesis and suppressing the immune system. DKK1 has an important role in tumor cell signaling and in mediating an immuno-suppressive tumor microenvironment through enhancing the activity of myeloid-derived suppressor cells and downregulating NK ligands on tumor cells.
About Leap Therapeutics
Leap Therapeutics (Nasdaq:LPTX) is focused on developing targeted and immuno-oncology therapeutics. Leap's most advanced clinical candidate, DKN-01, is a humanized monoclonal antibody targeting the Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) protein, a Wnt pathway modulator. DKN-01 is in clinical trials in patients with esophagogastric, hepatobiliary, gynecologic, and prostate cancers. Leap has formed a partnership with BeiGene, Ltd. for the rights to develop DKN-01 in Asia (excluding Japan), Australia, and New Zealand. For more information about Leap Therapeutics, visit http://www.leaptx.com or view our public filings with the SEC that are available via EDGAR at http://www.sec.gov or via https://investors.leaptx.com/.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which involve risks and uncertainties. These statements include statements regarding expectations with respect to the development and advancement of DKN-01, including the initiation, timing and design of future studies, enrollment in future studies, potential for the receipt of future option exercise, milestones or royalty payments from BeiGene, and other future expectations, plans and prospects. Although Leap believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable as of the date made, forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from our expectations. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: that the initiation, conduct, and completion of clinical trials, laboratory operations, manufacturing campaigns, and other studies may be delayed, adversely affected, or impacted by COVID-19 related issues, the accuracy of our estimates regarding expenses, future revenues, capital requirements and needs for financing; the outcome, cost, and timing of our product development activities and clinical trials; the uncertain clinical development process, including the risk that clinical trials may not have an effective design or generate positive results; our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of our drug product candidates; the size and growth potential of the markets for our drug product candidates; our ability to continue obtaining and maintaining intellectual property protection for our drug product candidates; and other risks. Detailed information regarding factors that may cause actual results to differ materially will be included in Leap Therapeutics' periodic filings with the SEC, including Leap's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, as filed with the SEC on March 16, 2020 and as may be updated by Leap's Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and the other reports we file from time to time with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements contained in this release speak only as of its date. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release to reflect events or circumstances occurring after its date or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
Douglas E. Onsi
President & Chief Executive Officer
Leap Therapeutics, Inc.
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