US-based biotechnology company GlycoMimetics has commenced the phase one clinical trial of GMI-1271, combined with bortezomib-based chemotherapy to treat multiple myeloma.

GMI-1271 has been developed to block E-selectin, an adhesion molecule on cells in the bone marrow, from binding with blood cancer cells to inhibit the well-established mechanisms of leukemic cell resistance within the bone marrow microenvironment.

"This new clinical trial provides an opportunity to evaluate GMI-1271's ability to treat hematological cancers beyond AML."

The multi-centre, open-label dose escalation phase one trial will be conducted in Ireland and has been designed to assess the safety, efficacy and pharmacokinetics profile of GMI-1271 when combined with chemotherapy to treat patients with multiple myeloma and is not responsive to standard chemotherapy.

The trial plans to include 24 participants who will be administered with four doses of GMI-1271 in combination with bortezomib, intravenously concurrently with bortezomib treatment.

Beaumont Hospital consultant haematologist Dr John Quinn said: "This new clinical trial provides an opportunity to evaluate GMI-1271's ability to treat hematological cancers beyond AML.

"Preclinical studies showed promise for E-selectin antagonists against other types of cancers, so this pilot study in multiple myeloma may determine if GMI-1271 may become part of a bortezomib rescue treatment for patients not responding to standard regimens."

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Preclinical trials conducted in mice with multiple myeloma has suggested efficacy of GMI-1271 and bortezomib combination when compared to the results exhibited by bortezomib alone.