A Study of Efficacy and Safety of Fruquintinib (HMPL-013) in Participants With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer (FRESCO-2)



Status and phase

Active, not recruiting
Phase 3


Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
Metastatic Colon Cancer


Drug: Fruquintinib
Drug: Placebo

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


This is a global, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter phase 3 clinical trial to compare the efficacy and safety of fruquintinib plus best supportive care (BSC) versus placebo plus BSC in participants with refractory metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). 691 participants were randomized to one of the following treatment arms in a 2:1 ratio, fruquintinib plus BSC or placebo plus BSC.

Full description

This is a global, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter phase 3 clinical trial to compare the efficacy and safety of fruquintinib in combination with BSC versus placebo in combination with BSC in metastatic colorectal cancer participants who have progressed on, or were intolerant to, chemotherapy, anti-VEGF and anti-EGFR biologics, and TAS-102 or regorafenib. Participants with MSI-H/MMR deficient tumors must have also received an immune checkpoint inhibitor if approved and available and if deemed appropriate. Subjects with BRAF-mutant tumors must have been treated with a BRAF inhibitor if approved and available and if deemed appropriate. Metastatic colorectal cancer cannot be cured by surgery. Therefore, treatment principals are primarily aimed at controlling disease progression and prolonging survival. Standard first- and second-line therapy includes cytotoxic drugs such as 5-fluorouracil, oxaliplatin, and irinotecan; anti-VEGF therapy; and, if RAS wild type, anti-EGFR therapy. After the first two lines of chemotherapy, standard third-line treatment is either TAS-102 or regorafenib. There are currently no effective treatments for patients who have progressed on standard, approved therapies, and treatment options include reuse of prior therapies, clinical trials or BSC. Consequently, there is an unmet medical need for additional safe and effective treatment.


691 patients




18+ years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

  • Provide written informed consent;
  • Age ≥18 years;
  • Histologically and/or cytologically documented metastatic colorectal adenocarcinoma. RAS, BRAF, and microsatellite instability microsatellite instability (MSI)/mismatch repair (MMR) status for each patient must be documented, according to country level guidelines;
  • Participants must have progressed on or been intolerant to treatment with either trifluridine/tipiracil (TAS-102) or regorafenib. Participants are considered intolerant to TAS-102 or regorafenib if they have received at least 1 dose of either agents and were discontinued from therapy for reasons other than disease progression. Participants who have been treated with both TAS-102 and regorafenib are permitted. Participants must also have been previously treated with standard approved therapies: fluoropyrimidine-, oxaliplatin-, and irinotecan-based chemotherapy, an anti-VEGF biological therapy, and, if RAS wild-type, an anti-EGFR therapy;
  • Participants with microsatellite-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) tumors must have been treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors if approved and available in the participant's country unless the patient is ineligible for treatment with a checkpoint inhibitor;
  • Participants who received oxaliplatin in the adjuvant setting and developed metastatic disease during or within 6 months of completing adjuvant therapy are considered eligible without receiving oxaliplatin in the metastatic setting. Participants who developed metastatic disease more than 6 months after completion of oxaliplatin-containing adjuvant treatment must be treated with oxaliplatin-based therapy in the metastatic setting to be eligible;
  • Body weight ≥40kg;
  • Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0-1;
  • Have measurable disease according to RECIST Version 1.1, assessed locally. Tumors that were treated with radiotherapy are not measurable per RECIST Version 1.1, unless there has been documented progression of those lesions;
  • Expected survival >12 weeks.
  • For female participants of childbearing potential and male participants with partners of childbearing potential, agreement to use a highly effective form(s) of contraception, that results in a low failure rate (<1% per year) when used consistently and correctly, starting during the screening period, continuing throughout the entire study period, and for 90 days after taking the last dose of study drug. Such methods include: oral hormonal contraception (combined estrogen/ progestogen, or progestogen-only) associated with inhibition of ovulation, intrauterine device (IUD), intrauterine hormone-releasing system (IUS), bilateral tubal ligation, vasectomized partner, or true sexual abstinence in line with the preferred and usual lifestyle of the participant. Highly effective contraception should always be combined with an additional barrier method (eg, diaphragm, with spermicide). The same criteria are applicable to male participants involved in this clinical trial if they have a partner of childbirth potential, and male participants must always use a condom.
  • Participants with BRAF-mutant tumors must have been treated with a BRAF inhibitor if approved and available in the participant's home country unless the patient is ineligible for treatment with a BRAF inhibitor.

Exclusion criteria

  • Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) <1.5×109/L, platelet count <100×109/L, or hemoglobin <9.0 g/dL. Blood transfusion within 1 week prior to enrollment for the purpose of increasing the likelihood of eligibility is not allowed;
  • Serum total bilirubin >1.5 × the upper limit of normal (ULN). Participants with Gilbert syndrome, bilirubin <2 X ULN, and normal AST/ALT are eligible;
  • Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or aspartate aminotransferase (AST) >2.5 × ULN in participants without hepatic metastases; ALT or AST >5 × ULN in participants with hepatic metastases;
  • Serum creatinine >1.5 × ULN or creatinine clearance <60 mL/min. Creatinine clearance can either be measured in a 24-hour urine collection or estimated by the Cockroft-Gault equation.
  • Urine dipstick protein ≥2+ or 24-hour urine protein ≥1.0 g/24-h. Participants with greater than 2+ proteinuria by dipstick must undergo a 24-hour urine collection to assess urine protein level;
  • Uncontrolled hypertension, defined as: systolic blood pressure ≥140 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mm Hg despite optimal medical management. Participants were required to have blood pressure values below both limits. Repeated assessments were permitted;
  • International Normalized Ratio (INR) >1.5 x ULN or activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) >1.5 × ULN, unless the patient is currently receiving or intended to receive anticoagulants for prophylactic purposes;
  • History of, or active gastric/duodenal ulcer or ulcerative colitis, active hemorrhage of an unresected gastrointestinal tumor, history of perforation or fistulas; or any other condition that could, in the investigator's judgment, result in gastrointestinal hemorrhage or perforation; within the 6 months prior to screening;
  • History or presence of hemorrhage from any other site (eg, hemoptysis or hematemesis) within 2 months prior to screening;
  • History of a thromboembolic event, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), or arterial embolism within 6 months prior to screening.
  • Stroke and/or transient ischemic attack within 12 months prior to screening;
  • Clinically significant cardiovascular disease, including but not limited to acute myocardial infarction or coronary artery bypass surgery within 6 months prior to enrollment, severe or unstable angina pectoris, New York Heart Association Class III/IV congestive heart failure, ventricular arrhythmias requiring treatment, or left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) <50% by echocardiogram;
  • Mean corrected QT interval using the Fridericia method (QTcF) >480 msec or any factors that increase the risk of QTc prolongation or risk of arrhythmic events such as hypokalemia, congenital long QT syndrome, family history of long QT syndrome, or unexplained sudden death under 40 years of age in a first-degree relative.
  • Concomitant medications with a known risk of causing QT prolongation and/or Torsades de Pointes.
  • Systemic anti-neoplastic therapies (except for those described in Exclusion 18) or any investigational therapy within 4 weeks prior to the first dose of study drug, including chemotherapy, radical radiotherapy, hormonotherapy, biotherapy and immunotherapy;
  • Systemic small molecule targeted therapies (eg, tyrosine kinase inhibitors) within 5 half-lives or 4 weeks (whichever is shorter) prior to the first dose of study drug;
  • Palliative radiotherapy for bone metastasis/lesion within 2 weeks prior to the initiation of study drug;
  • Brachytherapy (i.e., implantation of radioactive seeds) within 60 days prior to the first dose of study drug.
  • Use of strong inducers or inhibitors of CYP3A4 within 2 weeks (or 5 half-lives, whichever is longer) before the first dose of study drug;
  • Surgery or invasive procedure (i.e., a procedure that includes a biopsy; central venous catheter placement is allowed) within 60 days prior to the first dose of study drug or unhealed surgical incision;
  • Any unresolved toxicities from a previous antitumor treatment greater than CTCAE v5.0 Grade 1 (except for alopecia or neurotoxicity grade≤2);
  • Known human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection;
  • Known history of active viral hepatitis. For participants with evidence of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, the HBV viral load must be undetectable on suppressive therapy, if indicated. Participants with HCV infection who are currently on treatment are eligible if they have an undetectable HCV viral load.
  • Clinically uncontrolled active infection requiring IV antibiotics;
  • Tumor invasion of a large vascular structure, eg, pulmonary artery, superior or inferior vena cava;
  • Women who are pregnant or lactating;
  • Brain metastases and/or spinal cord compression untreated with surgery and/or radiotherapy, and without clinical imaging evidence of stable disease for 14 days or longer; participants requiring steroids within 4 weeks prior to start of study treatment are excluded;
  • Other malignancy, except for non-melanoma skin cancer, in situ cervical ca or bladder ca (Tis and T1) that have been adequately treated during the 5 years prior to screening;
  • Inability to take medication orally, dysphagia or an active gastric ulcer resulting from previous surgery (eg, gastric bypass) or a severe gastrointestinal disease, or any other condition that investigators believe may affect absorption of the investigational product;
  • Other disease, metabolic disorder, physical examination anomaly, abnormal laboratory result, or any other condition (e.g., current alcohol or drug abuse) that investigators suspect may prohibit use of the investigational product, affect interpretation of study results, or put the patient at undue risk of harm based on the investigator's assessment;
  • Known hypersensitivity to fruquintinib (or placebo) or any of its inactive ingredients including the azo dyes Tartrazine - FD&C Yellow 5 and Sunset yellow FCF - FD&C Yellow 6;
  • Participants who have received prior fruquintinib;
  • Live vaccine <28days before the first dose of study drug(s). Seasonal vaccines for influenza are generally inactivated vaccines and are allowed. Intranasal vaccines are live vaccines and are not allowed.

Trial design

691 participants in 2 patient groups, including a placebo group

Fruquintinib Plus Best Supportive Care (BSC) Group
Experimental group
Participants will be orally administered Fruquintinib 5 mg in combination with BSC once daily for 3 weeks of continuous dosing followed by a 1-week break (with each cycle length of 28 days).
Drug: Fruquintinib
Placebo Plus BSC Group
Placebo Comparator group
Participants will be orally administered Placebo 5 mg in combination with BSC once daily for 3 weeks of continuous dosing followed by a 1-week break (with each cycle length of 28 days).
Drug: Placebo

Trial documents

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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