Unlocking efficacy and tolerability of LLD: Continuous immunostimulation enhances lenalidomide (LLD) response

January 20, 2021

Dr. Mohamad Hussein, Starton Scientific Committee Chair, in an exclusive interview with EBD Group at Biotech Showcase:


Dr. Hussein explained that STAR-LLD “could potentially enhance the efficacy of [lenalidomide] and also, more importantly, enhance the safety of the compound. Combining both together will rejuvenate lenalidomide – a game changer in hematologic malignancies in multiple myeloma – I think this can be a second coming of the drug, where it can be a game changer a second time by enhancing the immune efficacy of the compound as well as enhancing the safety.”

Dr. Mohamad Hussein is Board Certified in Oncology And Hematology and a Board Member and Hematologic Malignancies Lead at Starton Therapeutics. He has been with Starton for over a year, previously he was Corporate Vice President: Global lead, Multiple Myeloma at Celgene where he led the therapeutic vision and strategy for multiple myeloma inline and pipeline assets, which included Revlimid. Prior to Celgene, Dr. Hussein was one of the founders of the multiple myeloma multidisciplinary research center at Cleveland Clinic.

STAR-LLD uses a continuous delivery system, which eliminates “the peaks and troughs that go with the oral formulation. Part of the trough challenge is after it hits trough, that is about 12 hours..[the patient] doesn’t have really any effective dose of the lenalidomide in their system, which gives the the cancer cells – and this is in any heme malignancy – time to develop resistance, but also takes the foot off the accelerator for the immune system. So having a consistent dose and an area under the curve 24/7 would be a significant enhancement to the immune system and it might actually decrease the incidence of resistance that happens from the direct kill.”

Dr. Hussein described the Company’s Phase 1/2 clinical strategy in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL): the study is an open-label multicenter design in three segments of CLL patients: relapsed/refractory patients, patients failing to achieve MRD negatitivty after BTK induction (30-60% of patients), and patients in combination with venetoclax.