Cellectar Biosciences Announces Enrollment of First Patient into Third Cohort of Its Phase I Clinical Study of CLR 131 in Multiple Myeloma

MADISON, Wis., Oct. 06, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cellectar Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:CLRB) (the “company”), an oncology-focused clinical stage biotechnology company, today announces the enrollment of the first patient into Cohort 3 of the company’s Phase I clinical study of CLR 131 in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

Cohort 3 of the Phase 1 study of CLR 131 will consist of at least three patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma that have been treated previously with at least one proteasome inhibitor and one immunomodulatory agent.  Patients in this cohort will receive 25mCi/m2 of CLR 131 as a single dose infusion, which represents a 33 percent increase in the dose from the previous cohort.

“We are highly encouraged with CLR 131’s safety profile, overall clinical activity and PFS observed from a single dose infusion, particularly in such a heavily pretreated patient population.  The PFS demonstrated in Cohort 2 already compares favorably to other treatments that require multiple doses, either daily or weekly,” said Jim Caruso, president and CEO of Cellectar Biosciences. “We plan to accelerate Cohort 3 enrollment as well as initiate a Phase II study in the first half of 2017 to further define the clinical benefits of this novel compound in selected hematologic malignancies with limited treatment options.”

In this multi-center, open label Phase I dose escalation study, CLR 131 is administered as a single dose, 30-minute infusion.  The primary study objective is to characterize the safety and tolerability of CLR 131 in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.  Secondary study objectives include establishment of a recommended Phase II dose, both with and without dexamethasone, as well as an assessment of therapeutic activity, including progression-free survival (PFS) and efficacy endpoints.

About CLR 131
CLR 131 is an investigational compound under development for a range of hematologic malignancies.  It is currently being evaluated in a Phase I clinical trial in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.  The company plans to initiate a Phase II clinical study to assess efficacy in a range of B-cell malignancies in the first half of 2017.  Based upon pre-clinical and interim Phase I study data, treatment with CLR 131 provides patients with a novel approach to treating hematological diseases and may provide patients with an improvement in progression-free survival and overall quality of life.  CLR 131 utilizes the company’s patented PDC tumor targeting delivery platform to deliver a cytotoxic radioisotope, iodine-131 directly to tumor cells.  The FDA has granted Cellectar an orphan drug designation for CLR 131.

About Phospholipid Drug Conjugates (PDCs)
Cellectar’s product candidates are built upon its patented cancer cell-targeting delivery and retention platform of optimized phospholipid ether-drug conjugates (PDCs).  Its phospholipid ether (PLE) carrier platform was deliberately designed to be coupled with a variety of payloads to facilitate both therapeutic and diagnostic applications.  The basis for selective tumor targeting of our PDC compounds lies in the differences between the plasma membranes of cancer cells compared to those of normal cells.  Cancer cell membranes are highly enriched in lipid rafts, which are glycolipoprotein microdomains of the plasma membrane of cells that contain high concentrations of cholesterol and sphingolipids, and serve to organize cell surface and intracellular signaling molecules. PDCs have been tested in over 70 different xenograft models of cancer.

About Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is the second most common blood or hematologic cancer with approximately 30,000 new cases in the United States every year.  It affects a specific type of blood cells known as plasma cells.  Plasma cells are white blood cells that produce antibodies to help fight infections.  While treatable for a time, multiple myeloma is incurable and almost all patients will relapse or the cancer will become resistant/refractory to current therapies.

About Cellectar Biosciences, Inc.
Cellectar Biosciences is developing phospholipid drug conjugates (PDCs) designed to provide cancer targeted delivery of diverse oncologic payloads to a broad range of cancers and cancer stem cells.  Cellectar’s PDC platform is based on the company’s proprietary phospholipid ether analogs.  These novel small-molecules have demonstrated highly selective uptake and retention in a broad range of cancers.  Cellectar’s PDC pipeline includes product candidates for cancer therapy and cancer diagnostic imaging.  The company’s lead therapeutic PDC, CLR 131, utilizes iodine-131, a cytotoxic radioisotope, as its payload.  CLR 131 is currently being evaluated under an orphan drug designated Phase I clinical study in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.  The company is also developing PDCs for targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics such as paclitaxel (CLR 1602-PTX), a preclinical stage product candidate, and plans to expand its PDC chemotherapeutic pipeline through both in-house and collaborative R&D efforts.  For additional information please visit www.cellectar.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements.  You can identify these statements by our use of words such as “may,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “estimate,” “continue,” “plans,” or their negatives or cognates.  These statements are only estimates and predictions and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual future experience and results to differ materially from the statements made.  These statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations as to such future outcomes.  Drug discovery and development involve a high degree of risk.  Factors that might cause such a material difference include, among others, uncertainties related to the ability to raise additional capital, uncertainties related to the ability to attract and retain partners for our technologies, the identification of lead compounds, the successful preclinical development thereof, the completion of clinical trials, the FDA review process and other government regulation, our pharmaceutical collaborators’ ability to successfully develop and commercialize drug candidates, competition from other pharmaceutical companies, product pricing and third-party reimbursement.  A complete description of risks and uncertainties related to our business is contained in our periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission including our Form 10-K/A for the year ended December 31, 2015.  These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof, and we disclaim any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.

Jules Abraham
JQA Partners

Stephanie Prince
Managing Director
PCG Advisory Group
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