Toronto, Ontario –November 23, 2020, Theralase® Technologies Inc. (“Theralase” or the “Company”) (TSXV: TLT) (OTCQB: TLTFF), a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the research and development of light activated Photo Dynamic Compounds (“PDC”) and their associated drug formulations used to safely and effectively destroy various cancers, bacteria and viruses announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has granted Theralase® Fast Track Designation (“FTD”) for its Phase II Bacillus Calmete Guérin (“BCG”)–Unresponsive Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (“NMIBC”) Carcinoma In Situ (“CIS”) clinical study (“Study II”).
As a Fast Track designee, Theralase® will have access to early and frequent communications with the FDA to discuss Theralase’s development plans and ensure timely collection of the appropriate clinical data to support the approval process. The accelerated communication with the FDA potentially allows, TLD-1433, in combination with the TLC-3200 medical laser system (“TLC-3200”), to be the first intravesical patient-specific Ruthenium-based PDC for the treatment of patients with BCG-Unresponsive NMIBC CIS, with or without papillary Ta or T1 tumours. FTD can lead to an Accelerated Approval and Priority Review, if certain criteria are met, which the FDA has previously defined to the Company to represent approximately 20 to 25 patients enrolled and treated, who demonstrate significant safety and efficacy clinical outcomes.
Michael Jewett MD, FRCSC, FACS, Inaugural Farquharson Clinical Research Chair in Oncology, Departments of Surgery (Urology) and Surgical Oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network (“UHN”), stated “By awarding Fast Track Designation to the photosensitizer drug TLD-1433 activated by the laser TLC-3200, currently being assessed in a Phase II clinical study for the treatment of NMIBC, the FDA has recognized Theralase®’s potential to meaningfully improve patient outcomes for this life-threatening disease. This is a significant accomplishment for the Company. This latest milestone complements the clinical development strategy to provide urologists, uro-oncologists and patients with the tools to combat BCG-Unresponsive NMIBC, safely and effectively.”
Shawn Shirazi PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Theralase®, stated, “FDA’s FTD for our lead drug candidate, TLD-1433, activated by the TLC-3200, is another important milestone for Theralase®, as it can potentially speed the development of this drug-device combination for NMIBC patients. The TLD-1433 – TLC-3200 technology represents a paradigm shift in medical technology and an advanced approach to treat NMIBC. We are excited by the progress the Company has delivered in Study II, as we continue to enroll and successfully treat patients. The Company continues to work towards launching new clinical study sites in Canada and the US with a mandate to enroll and treat all patients for their first Study II treatment in 2021”.
About Fast Track Designation
FTD is an FDA process designed to facilitate the development, and expedite the review of, medicines to treat serious conditions and fill unmet medical needs. Filling an unmet need is defined as providing a therapy where none exists or providing a therapy that may be potentially better than available therapies. The FDA created this process to help deliver important new drugs to patients earlier, and it covers a broad range of serious illnesses.
About Study II
Study II utilizes the Therapeutic Dose (0.70 mg/cm2) of TLD-1433, activated by the TLC-3200, and is focused on the enrollment and treatment of approximately 100 BCG-Unresponsive NMIBC CIS patients in up to 20 clinical study sites located in Canada and the US.
Study II has a:
- Primary endpoint of efficacy (defined by Complete Response (“CR”) at any point in time
- Secondary endpoint of duration of CR at 360 days post-initial CR (approximately 450 days post initial Study treatment, assuming CR is achieved at the 90 day assessment)
- Tertiary endpoint of safety measured by incidence and severity of Adverse Events (“AEs”) grade 4 or higher that do not resolve within 450 days post-initial treatment
The FDA, in its 2018 guidance to industry, stated that, “For single-arm trials of patients with BCG-Unresponsive disease, CR is defined as at least one of the following:
- Negative cystoscopy and negative (including atypical) urine cytology
- Positive cystoscopy with biopsy-proven benign or low-grade NMIBC and negative cytology
- For intravesical therapies without systemic toxicity, negative cystoscopy with malignant urine cytology, if cancer is found in the upper tract or prostatic urethra and random bladder biopsies are negative.
The FDA further states that, “Intravesical instillation does not deliver the investigational drug to the upper tract or prostatic urethra; therefore, the development of disease in these areas cannot be attributed to a lack of activity of the investigational drug. Thus, sponsors can consider patients with new malignant lesions of the upper tract or prostatic urethra, who have received intravesical therapy to have achieved a CR in the primary analysis; however, sponsors should record these lesions and conduct sensitivity analyses in which these patients are not considered to have achieved a CR.“1
About Theralase® Technologies Inc.
Theralase® is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company dedicated to the research and development of light activated Photo Dynamic Compounds and their associated drug formulations intended to safely and effectively destroy various cancers, bacteria and viruses.
Forward Looking Statement
This news release contains “forward-looking statements” which reflect the current expectations of management of the Company’s future growth, results of operations, performance and business prospects and opportunities. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the Company’s proposed development plans with respect to Photo Dynamic Compounds and their drug formulations. Wherever possible, words such as “may“, “would“, “could“, “should”, “will“, “anticipate“, “believe“, “plan“, “expect“, “intend“, “estimate“, “potential for” and similar expressions have been used to identify these forward-looking statements. These statements reflect management’s current beliefs with respect to future events and are based on information currently available to management. Forward-looking statements involve significant risks, uncertainties and assumptions including with respect to the ability of the Company to: adequately fund, secure the requisite regulatory approvals to commence and successfully complete a Phase II NMIBC clinical study in a timely fashion and implement its development plans. Many factors could cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements; including, without limitation, those listed in the filings made by the Company with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities (which may be viewed at www.sedar.com). Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize or should assumptions underlying the forward looking statements prove incorrect, actual results, performance or achievements may vary materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this news release. These factors should be considered carefully and prospective investors should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements. Although the forward-looking statements contained in the press release are based upon what management currently believes to be reasonable assumptions, the Company cannot assure prospective investors that actual results, performance or achievements will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to revise forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise except as required by law. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchanges) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
For More Information:
Kristina Hachey, Chief Financial Officer
1 “BCG-Unresponsive Nonmuscle Invasive Bladder Cancer: Developing Drugs and Biologics for Treatment – Guidance for Industry” Dated: February 2018