MALVERN, Pa., Jan. 04, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Galera Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of drugs targeting oxygen metabolic pathways with the potential to transform cancer radiotherapy, today announced data from its Phase 2b clinical trial of lead product candidate GC4419 for the treatment of severe oral mucositis (SOM) in patients with head and neck cancer will be presented during an oral presentation at the 2018 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium being held February 15-17, 2018, at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Details of the presentation are as follows:

Abstract ID: 20496
Title: GC4419, a small molecule superoxide dismutase (SOD) mimetic: Randomized, placebo (PBO)-controlled, double blind trial to reduce oral mucositis (OM) from chemoradiotherapy (CRT) in patients (pts) with oral cavity (OC) or oropharyngeal (OP) carcinoma (OCC)
Presentation #: LBA2
Session: Breakout Session II: Survivorship and Acute and Late Effects
Date/Time: Friday, February 16, 2018, 3-4:30 p.m. MT
Presenter: Carryn M. Anderson, M.D., Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Iowa

“We are very pleased with the robust results of this clinical trial, one of the largest ever conducted for this indication, and look forward to presenting the data at this important meeting for patients with head and neck cancer,” said Mel Sorensen, M.D., President and CEO of Galera. “We believe GC4419, which leverages our dismutase mimetic platform, has the potential to represent an important new treatment approach for patients with chemoradiotherapy-related severe oral mucositis.”

Co-sponsored by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the American Head & Neck Society (AHNS), the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium brings researchers and clinicians together to discuss advances in research and treatments for head and neck cancers. For more information about the meeting, visit: http://headandnecksymposium.org/.

About GC4419

GC4419 is a highly selective and potent small molecule dismutase mimetic that closely mimics the activity of human superoxide dismutase enzymes. GC4419 works to reduce elevated levels of superoxide free radical levels caused by radiation therapy by rapidly converting superoxide free radical molecules to hydrogen peroxide and oxygen. Left untreated, elevated superoxide free radicals can damage noncancerous tissues and lead to debilitating side effects, including oral mucositis (OM), which can limit the antitumor efficacy of radiation therapy.

GC4419 is initially being studied for its ability to reduce the incidence, duration and severity of radiation and chemotherapy-induced OM in patients with head and neck cancer. As reported in December 2017, top-line results from Galera’s 223-patient, double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2b clinical trial demonstrate GC4419’s ability to dramatically reduce the duration of severe OM from 19 days to 1.5 days (92 percent), the incidence of severe OM through completion of radiation by 34 percent and the severity of patients’ OM by 47 percent, while preserving healthy tissue. In addition, in preclinical study GC4419 demonstrated an increased tumor response to radiation therapy while preventing toxicity in normal tissue.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Fast Track designation to GC4419 for the reduction and incidence of radiotherapy induced OM in patients with head and neck cancer. GC4419 also has potential in other indications in which mucosa is damaged by radiation.

About Oral Mucositis

Oral mucositis (OM) is a painful and problematic complication during cancer treatment, especially radiation therapy, caused by excessive superoxide generated during treatment that breaks down epithelial cells that line the mouth. Patients suffering from OM experience severe pain, inflammation, ulceration and bleeding of the mouth.

In the United States, more than 50 percent of patients with cancer receive radiotherapy at some time in their treatment. In patients with head and neck cancer, radiotherapy is a mainstay of treatment and approximately 70 percent of patients receiving chemoradiotherapy develop severe oral mucositis (SOM) as defined by the World Health Organization as Grade 3 or 4, which is the most debilitating side effect of the radiotherapy.

SOM can adversely affect cancer treatment outcomes by causing interruptions in radiotherapy, which may compromise the otherwise good prognosis for tumor control in many of these patients. SOM may also inhibit patients’ ability to eat solid food or even drink liquids, and can cause serious infections. Further, the costs of managing these side effects are substantial, particularly when hospitalization and/or surgical placement of PEG tubes to maintain nutrition and hydration are required. There is currently no drug approved to prevent or treat SOM in patients with head and neck cancer.

About Galera Therapeutics

Galera Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics targeting oxygen metabolic pathways with the potential to transform how radiation therapy is used in patients with cancer. Galera’s lead product candidate is GC4419, a highly selective and potent small molecule superoxide dismutase enzyme mimetic that rapidly converts superoxide free radical molecules to hydrogen peroxide and oxygen. GC4419 is initially being studied for its ability to reduce the incidence, duration and severity of severe oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancers, and achieved positive results in a Phase 2b clinical trial. Galera is headquartered in Malvern, Penn. For more information, visit www.galeratx.com.               

Media Contact:
Heather Anderson
6 Degrees
980-938-0260
handerson@6degreespr.com