French biopharmaceutical company ERYTECH has completed the enrolment of patients for its Phase IIb trial of eryaspase to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Eryaspase, also known as GRASPA, consists of the L-asparaginase enzyme found inside the donor-derived red blood cells based on ERYTECH’s proprietary ERYCAPS technology platform.

The enzyme attacks asparagine, an amino acid considered responsible for the growth and multiplication of the tumour cells that starves and eventually kills the cancer cells.

The Phase IIb trial has been designed as an open-label, randomised, multi-centre study intended to determine the efficacy of eryaspase in addressing acute leukemia and other unmet oncological diseases.

"The primary goal of the trial is to determine the overall survival (OS) following the administration of eryaspase."

A total of 123 patients aged 65 and above who have been recently diagnosed with AML and are unable to receive intensive chemotherapy have been enrolled in the trial.

The primary goal of the trial is to determine the overall survival (OS) following the administration of eryaspase.

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ERYTECH CEO and chairman Gil Beyen said: “AML is a very aggressive cancer. We are developing eryaspase with the goal of contributing to the treatment of these patients, many of whom may respond to L-asparaginase, but have difficulty with the side effects associated with the current available forms.

“Therefore, we believe the increased tolerability profile obtained through the encapsulation of L-asparaginase in the red blood cells could result in a new innovative approach to treatment of AML patients.”

The company is also undertaking the Phase I clinical trial of eryaspase in the US in adults with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

It is also exploring options of the usage of eryaspase for solid tumours and metastatic pancreatic cancer.