Celsion Corporation
Jun 5, 2017

Celsion Announces Presentation of OVATION Study Findings at the ASCO 2017 Annual Meeting

  100% disease control rate and 86% objective response rate reported

All patients at the highest dose demonstrated an objective response rate - partial (80%) or complete (20%) response rate

At the highest dose, 100% of patients achieved a R0, margin-negative, resection

LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J., June 05, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Celsion Corporation (NASDAQ:CLSN), an oncology drug development company, today provided an update on its OVATION Study, a Phase Ib dose escalating clinical trial combining GEN-1, the Company's DNA-based immunotherapy, with the standard of care for the treatment of newly-diagnosed patients with advanced (stage III/IV) ovarian cancer who will undergo neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by interval debulking surgery.  GEN-1 is an IL-12 DNA plasmid vector formulated as a nanoparticle in a non-viral delivery system to cause the sustained local production and secretion of the Interleukin-12 (IL-12) protein loco-regionally at the tumor site.   

The Company announced the latest clinical and translational data from the OVATION Study in a poster presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2017 Annual Meeting at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.  The poster presentation, entitled "Phase 1 study of the safety and activity of formulated IL-12 plasmid administered intraperitoneally in combination with neoadjuvant chemotherapy in patients with newly diagnosed advanced stage ovarian cancer," was presented on Saturday, June 3rd from 1:15 PM to 4:45 PM by Dr. Premal H. Thaker, Associate Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine.  The presentation summarized clinical findings and available translational data from all fourteen patients treated in the trial to-date.

"The OVATION study has accrued patients from four major research cancer centers.  We have seen highly promising clinical findings including a patient with a complete pathological response along with a very high rate of R0 at time of debulking surgery.  The translational research data in the poster presentation demonstrates that GEN-1 is producing beneficial cytokines and positively impacting T-cells in the tumor," said Dr. Premal Thaker. "This is strong early data and we believe that GEN-1 may be stimulating the immune system to improve tumor control in these patients. I am looking forward to continuing our clinical evaluation of GEN-1 in subsequent ovarian cancer studies."

Celsion reported encouraging clinical data from the first fourteen patients who have completed treatment in the OVATION Study.  GEN-1 plus standard chemotherapy produced positive results, with no dose limiting toxicities and promising dose dependent efficacy signals which appear to correlate well with successful surgical outcomes as summarized below:

Celsion also reported supportive translational research data from the first four patient cohorts who have completed treatment in the OVATION Study.  The translational data provides further insight into GEN-1's mechanism of action through the evaluation of dose-related changes in the tumor and peritoneal immune cell population, as well as through the peritoneal cytokine levels.

Treatment-Related Changes in IL-12 and Cytokine Levels in Peritoneal Fluid

Treatment-Related Changes in the Density of Various T-cells in Tumors

"Now having completed enrollment, per protocol, of our OVATION Study, we are impressed with GEN-1's apparent activity in combination with standard chemotherapy in newly diagnosed patients with stage III and IV ovarian cancer.  These data appear to correlate with the notable, unexpected surgical outcomes among all patients completing the prescribed eight weekly treatments and reinforce our confidence in the promise of GEN-1's ability to work safely and effectively in advanced ovarian cancer," said Michael H. Tardugno, Celsion's chairman, president and CEO. "Given these encouraging findings, in addition to our plans to evaluate GEN-1 in combination with Avastin® in 2 nd line, the Company will consider continuing our clinical trials in the underserved newly diagnosed patient population."

OVATION Study Design

The Phase Ib trial evaluated weekly intraperitoneal dosing of GEN-1 in combination with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, the standard of care for patients newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Concurrently with neoadjuvant chemotherapy, enrolled patients received escalating weekly doses of GEN-1, from levels beginning at 36mg/m², to 47mg/m², 61mg/m² and 79mg/m² weekly for 8 treatments in total, followed by interval debulking surgery. The regimen is primarily being evaluated for its safety and tolerability.

About GEN-1 Immunotherapy

GEN-1, designed using Celsion's proprietary TheraPlas platform technology, is an IL-12 DNA plasmid vector encased in a nanoparticle delivery system, which enables cell transfection followed by persistent, local secretion of the IL-12 protein. IL-12 is one of the most active cytokines for the induction of potent anti-cancer immunity acting through the induction of T-lymphocyte and natural killer (NK) cell proliferation. The Company has previously reported positive safety and encouraging Phase I results with GEN-1 given as monotherapy in patients with peritoneally metastasized ovarian cancer, and recently completed a Phase Ib trial of GEN-1 in combination with PEGylated doxorubicin in patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

About Celsion Corporation

Celsion is a fully-integrated oncology company focused on developing a portfolio of innovative cancer treatments, including directed chemotherapies, immunotherapies and RNA- or DNA-based therapies. The Company's lead program is ThermoDox®, a proprietary heat-activated liposomal encapsulation of doxorubicin, currently in Phase III development for the treatment of primary liver cancer and in Phase II development for the treatment of recurrent chest wall breast cancer.  The pipeline also includes GEN-1, a DNA-based immunotherapy for the localized treatment of ovarian and brain cancers.  Celsion has two platform technologies for the development of novel nucleic acid-based immunotherapies and other anti-cancer DNA or RNA therapies. For more information on Celsion, visit our website: http://www.celsion.com. (CLSN-G1 CLSN-OV)

Celsion wishes to inform readers that forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, unforeseen changes in the course of research and development activities and in clinical trials; the uncertainties of and difficulties in analyzing interim OVATION Study clinical data, particularly in small subgroups that are not statistically significant; FDA and regulatory uncertainties and risks; the significant expense, time, and risk of failure of conducting clinical trials, particularly for Phase I trials such as the OVATION Study; the need for Celsion to evaluate its future development plans; possible acquisitions or licenses of other technologies, assets or businesses; possible actions by customers, suppliers, competitors, regulatory authorities; and other risks detailed from time to time in the Celsion's periodic reports and prospectuses filed with the Securities and Exchange CommissionCelsion assumes no obligation to update or supplement forward-looking statements that become untrue because of subsequent events, new information or otherwise.


Celsion Investor Contact

Jeffrey W. Church

Sr. Vice President and CFO



Source: Celsion Corporation

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