AB Science SA  a pharmaceutical company specialized in research, development and marketing of protein kinase inhibitors (PKIs), today announced that the masitinib phase 3 trial for the treatment of patients with primary progressive or relapse-free secondary progressive multiple sclerosis has passed the non-futility test at 2 years.

The ongoing phase 3 trial is a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study (AB07002) designed to assess the safety and efficacy of masitinib in patients with primary progressive or relapse-free secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

The treatment period is 96 weeks.

The trial is testing 2 doses of masitinib, masitinib 4.5 mg/kg/day and masitinib 4.5 mg/kg/day escalating to 6 mg/kg/day, versus placebo (randomization 2:1).

The primary efficacy endpoint is the change over 96 weeks in EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale), which is a scale used for quantifying disability in multiple sclerosis and monitoring changes in the level of disability over time.

Based on these results, the Independent Data Safety Monitoring Committee (IDMC) has recommended the continuation of the study.

The study enrolled 600 evaluable patients as planned. The study is therefore now closed to patient enrolment.

The next step for this study is the interim analysis expected with 50% of patients having reached the 96 week treatment duration period. This interim analysis is anticipated in Q2 2018. Final results are expected in Q2 2019.

“After the success of the final analysis in the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis study with masitinib, the fact that the study in primary progressive or relapse-free secondary progressive multiple sclerosis was assessed as non-futile is a good news said Professor Olivier Hermine, M.D., President of the Scientific Committee of AB Science.

Targeted population
Four principal courses of MS are currently defined according to clinical characteristics; namely: Relapsing Remitting MS (RRMS), Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS), Primary Progressive MS (PPMS), and Progressive Relapsing MS (PRMS). The disease typically presents as RRMS, with more than 50% of RRMS patients entering a progressive phase (SPMS) following a highly variable delay. Approximately 10 to 15% of patients present with PPMS, which is characterized by continuous disease progression from the onset of disease, i.e. without relapses and remissions, for which prognosis is considered as poor due to the relatively rapid development of advanced disability as compared with RRMS.

Altogether, the progressive forms of multiple sclerosis represent around 60% of patients, hence around 400,000 patients in the USA and in the EU alone.

About masitinib

Masitinib is a new orally administered tyrosine kinase inhibitor that targets mast cells and macrophages, important cells for immunity, through inhibiting a limited number of kinases. Based on its unique mechanism of action, masitinib can be developed in a large number of conditions in oncology, in inflammatory diseases, and in certain diseases of the central nervous system. In oncology due to its immunotherapy effect, masitinib can have an effect on survival, alone or in combination with chemotherapy. Through its activity on mast cells and microglia and consequently the inhibition of the activation of the inflammatory process, masitinib can have an effect on the symptoms associated with some inflammatory and central nervous system diseases and the degeneration of these diseases.

About AB Science

Founded in 2001, AB Science is a pharmaceutical company specializing in the research, development and commercialization of protein kinase inhibitors (PKIs), a class of targeted proteins whose action are key in signaling pathways within cells. Our programs target only diseases with high unmet medical needs, often lethal with short term survival or rare or refractory to previous line of treatment in cancers, inflammatory diseases, and central nervous system diseases, both in humans and animal health.

AB Science has developed a proprietary portfolio of molecules and the Company’s lead compound, masitinib, has already been registered for veterinary medicine in Europe and in the USA. The company is currently pursuing thirteen phase 3 studies in human medicine in metastatic prostate cancer, metastatic pancreatic cancer, relapsing metastatic colorectal cancer, relapsing metastatic ovarian cancer, GIST, metastatic melanoma expressing JM mutation of c-Kit, relapsing multiple myeloma, relapsing T-cell lymphoma, mastocytosis, severe asthma, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and progressive forms of multiple sclerosis. The company is headquartered in Paris, France, and listed on Euronext Paris (ticker: AB).

Further information is available on AB Science’s website: www.ab-science.com.