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Announcements & Press Releases, Oncology / Immunology | 15 Dec 2014

Initiation of fruquintinib Phase III registration study in colorectal cancer

London: Monday, 15 December 2014: Chi-Med today announces that Hutchison MediPharma Limited (“HMP”), its majority owned R&D company, has initiated FRESCO, a Phase III registration study in colorectal cancer (“CRC”) patients in China, for fruquintinib (HMPL-013), its investigational small molecule which selectively inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor receptors (“VEGFR”).  Preparations and site selection began in the middle of this year, with the first patient dosed on 12 December 2014.

This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre, Phase III registration study is targeted at treating patients with locally advanced or metastatic CRC, who have failed at least two prior systemic antineoplastic therapies, including fluoropyrimidine, oxaliplatin and irinotecan.  Patients will be randomised at a 2:1 ratio to receive either: 5 milligrams of fruquintinib orally once per day, on a three-weeks-on / one-week-off cycle, plus best supportive care (“BSC”); or placebo plus BSC.  The primary endpoint is overall survival, with secondary endpoints including progression free survival, objective response rate, disease control rate and duration of response.  More than 400 patients will be enrolled in about 25 centres, with top-line results expected in 2016.

Fruquintinib is designed to selectively inhibit VEGF receptors, namely VEGFR1, VEGFR2, and VEGFR3.  In the first-in-human Phase I clinical trial 40 patients were treated with fruquintinib. Detailed results of the Phase I clinical trial are available at, and were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in April 2013.  Based on the Phase I data in CRC, a Phase Ib study was initiated which treated a further 62 CRC patients.  Detailed results of the Phase Ib clinical trial were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in May 2014, and also can be found at  Clinical trials for solid tumours including CRC, non-small cell lung cancer and gastric cancer are ongoing at various stages in China as either single-agent therapy or combined with chemotherapy.

In October 2013, HMP entered into a licensing, co-development and commercialisation agreement in China with Eli Lilly and Company for fruquintinib.





Christian Hogg, CEO
Telephone:        +852 2121 8200
Panmure Gordon (UK) Limited
Richard Gray
Andrew Potts
Telephone:        +44 20 7886 2500
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Anthony Carlisle
David Dible
Telephone:        +44 20 7638 9571
Mobile:             +44 7973 611 888
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Notes to Editors

About vascular endothelial growth factor (“VEGF”) and colorectal cancer in China

At an advanced stage, tumours secrete large amounts of VEGF, a protein ligand, to stimulate formation of excessive vasculature (angiogenesis) around the tumour in order to provide greater blood flow, oxygen, and nutrients to the tumour. VEGF and VEGF receptors (“VEGFRs”) play a pivotal role in tumour -related angiogenesis, and inhibition of the VEGF/VEGFR pathway. This represents an exciting therapeutic strategy in blocking the development of new blood vessels essential for tumours to grow and invade.

In 2012, there were an estimated 390,000 cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed in China, 10.2% of the total China cancer incidence, making colorectal cancer the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in China.  It was the fifth most common cause of cancer death in China after lung, liver, stomach and oesophagus cancer.

To date, several anti-VEGF/VEGFR agents have shown clinical efficacy against a number of tumour types. Given the scale and growth in the China oncology market, the market for VEGF/VEGFR inhibitors in China is expected to develop quickly in the next few years.


About HMP

HMP is a novel drug R&D company focusing on discovering, developing and commercialising innovative therapeutics in oncology and autoimmune diseases.  With a team of around 250 scientists and staff, its pipeline is comprised of novel oral compounds for cancer and inflammation in development in North America, Europe, Australia and Greater China.

HMP is majority owned by Chi-Med.  For more information, please visit:


About Chi-Med

Chi-Med is a China-based healthcare group focused on researching, developing, manufacturing and selling pharmaceuticals and health-related consumer products.  Its China Healthcare Division manufactures, markets and distributes prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals in China.  Its Drug R&D Division focuses on discovering and developing innovative therapeutics in oncology and autoimmune diseases.  Its emerging Consumer Products Division focuses on organic and natural consumer products in Asia.


Chi-Med is majority owned by the multinational conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa Limited (SEHK:13).  For more information, please visit: