Ayala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AYLA)
First Day Turnover47.1%
We are a clinical-stage oncology company focused on developing and commercializing small molecule therapeutics for patients suffering from rare and aggressive cancers, primarily in genetically defined patient populations. Our differentiated development approach is predicated on identifying and addressing tumorigenic drivers of cancer, through a combination of our bioinformatics platform and next-generation sequencing to deliver targeted therapies to underserved patient populations. Our current portfolio of product candidates, AL101 and AL102, targets the aberrant activation of the Notch pathway with gamma secretase inhibitors.
Gamma secretase is the enzyme responsible for Notch activation and, when inhibited, turns off the Notch pathway activation. Aberrant activation of the Notch pathway has long been implicated in multiple solid tumor and hematological cancers and has often been associated with more aggressive cancers. In cancers, Notch is known to serve as a critical facilitator in processes such as cellular proliferation, survival, migration, invasion, drug resistance and metastatic spread, all of which contribute to a poorer patient prognosis. AL101 and AL102 are designed to address the underlying key drivers of tumor growth, and our initial Phase 2 clinical data of AL101 suggest that our approach may address the shortcomings of existing treatment options. We believe that our novel product candidates, if approved, have the potential to transform treatment outcomes for patients suffering from rare and aggressive cancers.
Our lead product candidate, AL101, is being developed as a potent, selective, injectable small molecule gamma secretase inhibitor, or GSI. We obtained an exclusive, worldwide license to develop and commercialize AL101 from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, or BMS, in November 2017. BMS evaluated AL101 in three Phase 1 studies in more than 200 subjects with various cancers who had not been prospectively characterized for Notch activation, and to whom we refer to as unselected subjects. While these Phase 1 studies did not report statistically significant overall results, clinical activity was observed across these studies in cancers in which Notch has been implicated as a tumorigenic driver.
We are currently evaluating AL101 as a monotherapy in an open-label Phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of recurrent/metastatic adenoid cystic carcinoma, or R/M ACC, for patients bearing Notch-activating mutations. We refer to this trial as the ACCURACY trial. We use next-generation sequencing, or NGS, to identify patients with Notch-activating mutations, an approach that we believe will enable us to target the patient population with cancers that we believe are most likely to respond to and benefit from AL101 treatment. We chose to initially target R/M ACC based on our differentiated approach, which is comprised of: data generated in a Phase 1 study of AL101 in unselected, heavily pretreated subjects conducted by BMS, our own data generated in patient-derived xenograft models, our bioinformatics platform and our expertise in the Notch pathway.
ACC is a rare malignancy of the secretory glands, most commonly of the salivary glands. It has an annual incidence of approximately 3,400 patients in the United States, approximately 1,700 of whom are R/M ACC patients. There are currently no FDA-approved therapies for patients with R/M ACC. Based on scientific literature and our bioinformatics research, we estimate that 18% to 22% of R/M ACC patients have Notch-activating mutations. These Notch patients have a significantly worse prognosis, with estimated overall median survival rates roughly four times shorter than patients without Notch-activating mutations. According to published data from 31 Phase 2 clinical trials in ACC conducted since 2005 using a variety of treatment modalities, these treatments showed limited or no clinical activity in unselected ACC subjects. The objective response rates, or ORR, in 30 of these trials, ranged from 0% to 20%, with a 47% ORR observed in one trial conducted in China. In 15 of the 31 trials, a 0% ORR was observed. ORR includes subjects who displayed either a complete response, or CR, or a partial response, or PR.
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