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Aptose (APTO) Initiates Phase I a/b Study in Leukemia Patients

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Aptose Biosciences Inc. (APTO - Free Report) announced the dosing of the first patient with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in a phase I a/b study with CG-806, with a starting dose of 450 mg.CG-806 is an oral kinase inhibitor that potently inhibits the wildtype and mutant forms of FLT3 and BTK, and suppresses select clusters of kinases that drive oncogenic signaling pathways. AML, is a heterogeneous and aggressive cancer of the bone marrow and blood.

The 450 mg starting dose was selected as it was administered to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients in a separate phase I a/b study, and it appeared safe, well-tolerated and achieved plasma exposure levels that effectively inhibited phospho-FLT3 activity which is a key driver of AML.

Shares of the company have increased 0.7% year to date against the industry’s decline of 1.9%.

CG-806 is currently in a phase I dose-escalation study in patients with B-cell malignancies, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas (NHL), who have failed or are intolerant to current therapies.

Some other companies are also developing candidates for AML. AbbVie (ABBV - Free Report) and partner Roche (RHHBY - Free Report) received FDA approval for Venclexta (venetoclax), in combinationwith Vidaza or Dacogen or low-dose cytarabine (LDAC) for the treatment of newly-diagnosed AML in adults 75 years or older, or who have comorbidities that preclude the use of intensive induction chemotherapy.

Zacks Rank and a Stock to Consider

Aptose currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A better-ranked stock in the healthcare sector includes Emergent Biosolutions Inc. (EBS - Free Report) sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Emergent’s earnings estimates have increased from $4.23 to $6.61 for 2020 and from $5.55 to $8.42 for 2021 over the past 90 days. Shares of the company have increased 77.9% year to date.


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