Press Release

Printer Friendly Version View printer-friendly version
« Back
FibroGen Announces Positive Topline Results from Phase 2 Clinical Trial of Roxadustat for the Treatment of Chemotherapy Induced Anemia

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FibroGen, Inc. (NASDAQ: FGEN) today announced positive topline results from WHITNEY, the Company’s Phase 2 clinical study of roxadustat, a first-in-class oral small molecule hypoxia-inducible factor prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor (HIF-PHI), for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced anemia (CIA).

WHITNEY is a Phase 2, open label study investigating the efficacy and safety of roxadustat for treatment of anemia in patients receiving concurrent chemotherapy treatment for non-myeloid malignancies. The primary efficacy endpoint of maximum change in hemoglobin within 16 weeks from baseline without red blood cell transfusion was met.

“Roxadustat is a promising new approach for treating chemotherapy induced anemia, which complicates the treatment of many cancer patients,” said Mark D. Eisner, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, FibroGen. “Further studies will be necessary to evaluate whether roxadustat can effectively and safely treat this important type of anemia.”

In WHITNEY, ninety-two patients with non-myeloid malignancy (solid tumor) having a hemoglobin level at or below 10 g/dL were enrolled. Patients received a starting roxadustat dose of 2.0 mg/kg or 2.5 mg/kg, three times per week (TIW), during a treatment period of 16 weeks, with an additional 4-week follow-up period. Doses could be titrated every 4 weeks.

Roxadustat was generally well tolerated and there were no substantive differences in treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) between arms with different starting doses.

The full results of the study will be presented at a medical meeting later this year.

For more information regarding this study, please visit (NCT04076943).

About Chemotherapy-Induced Anemia
Although chemotherapy-induced anemia is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy, it is often not recognized and is frequently undertreated. CIA can adversely affect long-term patient outcomes, as the anemia limits both quality of life and efficacy of chemotherapy treatment. The incidence and severity of CIA depends on a variety of factors. This includes the type of cancer and the treatment, including the type of chemotherapy, schedule, and intensity of therapy. It also depends on whether the patient has received prior myelosuppressive chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both. An estimated 30% to 90% of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy develop anemia1. Approximately 650,000 cancer patients undergo chemotherapy every year in the United States2.

About Roxadustat
Roxadustat, an oral medication, is the first in a new class of medicines comprising HIF-PH inhibitors that promote erythropoiesis, or red blood cell production, through increased endogenous production of erythropoietin, improved iron absorption and mobilization, and downregulation of hepcidin. Roxadustat is also in clinical development for anemia of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and anemia associated with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).

Roxadustat is approved in European Union (EU) member states, including the European Economic Area (EEA) countries, as well as in Japan, China, Chile and South Korea for the treatment of anemia of CKD in adult patients on dialysis (DD) and not on dialysis (NDD). Several other licensing applications for roxadustat have been submitted by partners, Astellas and AstraZeneca to regulatory authorities across the globe, and are currently under review.

Astellas and FibroGen are collaborating on the development and commercialization of roxadustat for the potential treatment of anemia in territories including Japan, Europe, Turkey, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East, and South Africa. FibroGen and AstraZeneca are collaborating on the development and commercialization of roxadustat for the potential treatment of anemia in the U.S., China, other markets in the Americas, in Australia/New Zealand, and Southeast Asia.

About FibroGen 
FibroGen, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company committed to discovering, developing, and commercializing a pipeline of first-in-class therapeutics. The Company applies its pioneering expertise in hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) and connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) biology to advance innovative medicines for the treatment of unmet needs. The Company is currently developing and commercializing roxadustat, an oral small molecule inhibitor of HIF prolyl hydroxylase activity, for anemia associated with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and for chemotherapy-induced anemia (CIA). Pamrevlumab, an anti-CTGF human monoclonal antibody, is in clinical development for the treatment of locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer (LAPC), Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). For more information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements regarding our strategy, future plans and prospects, including statements regarding the development and commercialization of the company’s product candidates, the potential safety and efficacy profile of our product candidates, our clinical programs and regulatory events, and those of our partners. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about our plans, objectives, representations and contentions and are not historical facts and typically are identified by use of terms such as “may,” “will”, “should,” “on track,” “could,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue” and similar words, although some forward-looking statements are expressed differently. Our actual results may differ materially from those indicated in these forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties related to the continued progress and timing of our various programs. These include, the enrollment and results from ongoing and potential future clinical trials, and other matters that are described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020 and our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for quarter ended June 30, 2021 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including the risk factors set forth therein. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement in this press release, except as required by law.


  2. National Cancer Institute estimates of annual diagnoses from 2007 to 2011

FibroGen, Inc.

Michael Tung, M.D.
Corporate Strategy / Investor Relations

GCI Health 

Primary Logo

Source: FibroGen, Inc.