updated 6/6/2011 9:17:26 AM ET 2011-06-06T13:17:26

  • Marqibo enabled bridging to HSCT in 12 of 65 (18.5%) patients
  • There were 5 long-term survivors (greater than one year survival)

SAN MATEO, Calif., June 6, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Talon Therapeutics, Inc. (OTCBB:TLON) presented a poster titled "VSLI (vincristine sulfate liposomes injection, Marqibo) "Bridging" to Potentially Curative Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation (HSCT) in Adults with Philadelphia Chromosome Negative (Ph-) Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)".

Background

In a Phase 2, multi-national study, 65 adults with Ph- ALL in second or greater relapse or who had progressed after two or more prior lines of treatment received single-agent Marqibo 2.25 mg/m2 (without dose cap) IV weekly. All subjects were ineligible for immediate HSCT due to refractoriness to prior HSCT or the most recent salvage attempt, poor performance status, and/or insufficient anticipated lifespan.

Results

Overall response rate (physician assessment) was 35.4% with a 20% complete response (CR) plus CR with incomplete hematologic recovery (CRi) rate. VSLI, despite delivering individual (2.8-5.5 mg) and cumulative (up to 70.1 mg) dose-intense VCR, had a similar safety profile to that reported for standard VCR. VSLI enabled bridging to HSCT in 12 of 65 (18.5%) subjects. Eight of the 12 (66.7%) subjects had undergone at least one pre-VSLI HSCT. Five of the 12 subjects were in CR/CRi at the time of post-VSLI HSCT. Three of 12 subjects remain alive at greater than 28, 33, and 35 months, respectively, after post- VSLI HSCT. Five of 12 subjects relapsed and died following post-VSLI HSCT. Three of 12 subjects died of HSCT-related complications. All 12 subjects lived for greater than 100 days after post-VSLI HSCT.

Conclusion

VSLI produced rapid CR/CRi or disease stabilization and a meaningful "bridge" to HSCT in 12 or 65 (18.5%) heavily pre-treated near end-stage adults with ALL. Long-term survival (greater than 12 months) was achieved in 27% of those able to receive post-VSLI HSCT. These unexpected outcomes that are important to patients may reflect the effectiveness of the dose intensification facilitated by VSLI compared to that provided by standard vincristine.

About Marqibo

Marqibo is a novel, targeted Optisome™ encapsulated formulation product candidate of the FDA-approved anticancer drug vincristine. Up until now, Talon has been primarily developing Marqibo for the treatment of adult, Philadelphia chromosome negative (Ph-) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Vincristine, a microtubule inhibitor, is FDA-approved for ALL and is widely used as a single agent and in combination regimens for treatment for hematologic malignancies such as lymphomas and leukemias. Talon's encapsulation formulation is designed to provide prolonged circulation of the drug in the blood and accumulation at the tumor site. These characteristics are intended to increase the dose of vincristine delivered in a safe and effective manner. 

Talon plans to submit to the FDA a New Drug Application, or NDA, seeking accelerated approval of Marqibo in adult Ph- ALL, in second or greater relapse or that has progressed following two or more prior lines of anti-leukemia therapy, by the end of June 2011.  Talon has received orphan drug and fast track designations for Marqibo for the treatment of adult ALL from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Marqibo has also received orphan drug designation in adult leukemia from the European Medicines Evaluation Agency.

About Talon Therapeutics

Talon Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to seizing upon medical opportunities, efficiently and expertly leading product candidates through clinical development, and transferring value to patients, patient care providers, shareholders, corporate partners, and employees.

In addition to Marqibo, the Company has additional pipeline opportunities some of which, like Marqibo, have the potential to improve delivery and enhance the therapeutic benefits of well characterized, proven chemotherapies and enable high potency dosing without increased toxicity.

Additional information on Talon Therapeutics can be found at www.talontx.com .

The Talon Therapeutics, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=3290

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are often, but not always, made through the use of words or phrases such as "anticipates," "expects," "plans," "believes," "intends," and similar words or phrases. These forward-looking statements include without limitation, statements regarding the timing of planned NDA submission and other regulatory filings relating to Marqibo, Talon's ability to obtain accelerated approval of Marqibo for the treatment of adult Ph- ALL, and the potential of Marqibo to replace existing therapies. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause Talon's actual results to differ materially from the anticipated results and expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. These statements are based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from these statements. Among other things, the timing of Talon's proposed submission of an NDA seeking accelerated approval of Marqibo is subject to the FDA's acceptance of its plans for a Phase 3 confirmatory trial of Marqibo; there can be no assurances that any of Talon's clinical and regulatory development efforts relating to Marqibo will be successful; that even if an NDA for Marqibo is accepted by the FDA, that it will be approved; that the data of the clinical trials of Marqibo will be sufficient to support approval by the FDA of an NDA for Marqibo; that the results of the clinical trials of Marqibo will support Talon's claims or beliefs concerning Marqibo's safety and effectiveness; and that Talon will be able to secure the additional capital necessary to fund its product development programs, including Marqibo, to completion, Talon's reliance on third-party researchers to develop its product candidates, and its lack of experience in developing and commercializing pharmaceutical products. Additional risks are described in the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010. Talon assumes no obligation to update these statements, except as required by law.

CONTACT: Investor & Media Contacts:
         Investor Relations Team
         (650) 588-6641
         investor.relations@talontx.com

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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