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LSKB Announces that Enrollment has Opened at Huntsman Cancer Institute for the APPEASE Study combining Rivoceranib and Pembrolizumab

SALT LAKE CITY, USA, June 19, 2018 — LSK BioPharma (LSKB, Company) announced that enrollment has opened for the APPEASE study, “A phase 1/2 open label study of the safety and efficacy of apatinib [rivoceranib] administered to patients with advanced malignancies to improve sensitivity to pembrolizumab in the second or later line setting.”. The study is an Investigator-Initiated Trial (IIT) taking place at  Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah (HCI) under the direction of Dr. Sumati Gupta.

“Based on preclinical studies, we believe that adding rivoceranib may make the immune-oncology therapies effective to a wider population of cancer patients,” said Dr. Sung Chul Kim, LSKB President, “We are excited to partner with the University of Utah’s Huntsman Cancer Institute on this study.

LSKB is also sponsoring a study at the Cancer Center of Southern California (CCSC) which is examining the safety and efficacy of rivoceranib in combination with nivolumab.

About Rivoceranib (Apatinib)

Rivoceranib is the first successful small-molecule angiogenesis inhibitor in gastric cancer. Rivoceranib acts by inhibiting angiogenesis, a critical process in cancer growth and proliferation. Specifically, rivoceranib selectively inhibits VEGFR-2 which mediates the primary pathway for tumor-mediated angiogenesis. It was approved in China (advanced gastric cancer, Dec 2014) where it is marketed by the Chinese-territory license-holder Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Co., Ltd. LSK BioPharma, which holds the global rights (ex-China), has partnered development and marketing in South Korea with Bukwang Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. The Company is currently conducting a global (12 countries including US, Japan, Korea, Italy, Germany, and Russia) Phase 3 clinical trial of rivoceranib in advanced or metastatic gastric cancer patients. Rivoceranib has been clinically tested in over 1,000 patients worldwide and has demonstrated efficacy in numerous cancers including gastric cancer, CRC, HCC, NSCLC, esophageal cancer, thyroid cancer, mesothelioma, and neuroendocrine tumors. It has also shown potential to significantly improve outcomes in combination with chemotherapeutics and immunotherapy, as well as for maintenance therapy. LSKB has received notification designating rivoceranib as an orphan medicinal product for the treatment of gastric cancer from the European Commission in the European Union, the US FDA, as well as the MFDS in South Korea.

About LSK BioPharma

LSKB is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Company specializes in clinical development of promising targeted therapies for unmet medical needs in cancer. LSKB is developing two proprietary drug candidates; rivoceranib, a selective VEGFR-2 inhibitor which has demonstrated clinical efficacy in a variety of solid tumors and a selective BTK/JAK3 inhibitor (designated LSK9985) with the potential to treat hematologic malignancies and rheumatoid arthritis as an immunosuppressive agent. LSKB can be found on the web at www.lskbiopharma.com.

Angie Price


Preclinical/DMPK Research Associate


Senior Clinical Study Manager