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Archive for the ‘Immunotherapy’ Category


FDA: CAR-T therapy outweigh its risks tisagenlecleucel, manufactured by Novartis of Basel – 52 out of 63 participants — 82.5% — experienced overall remissions – young patients with Leukaemia [ALL]

 

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

Basel, July 12, 2017 – Novartis announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee (ODAC) unanimously (10-0) recommended approval of CTL019 (tisagenlecleucel), an investigational chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy, for the treatment of relapsed or refractory (r/r) pediatric and young adult patients with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

“The panel’s unanimous recommendation in favor of CTL019 moves us closer to potentially delivering the first-ever commercially approved CAR-T cell therapy to patients in need,” said Bruno Strigini, CEO, Novartis Oncology. “We’re very proud to be expanding new frontiers in cancer treatment by advancing immunocellular therapy for children and young adults with r/r B-cell ALL and other critically ill patients who have limited options. We look forward to working with the FDA as they complete their review.”

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia comprises approximately 25% of cancer diagnoses among children under 15 years old and is the most common childhood cancer in the US[1]. Effective treatment options for patients with r/r ALL are limited. In pediatric and young adult patients with B-cell ALL that have relapsed multiple times or become refractory to treatment, the five-year disease-free survival is less than 10-30%[2],[3],[4].

CTL019 was first developed by the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and uses the 4-1BB costimulatory domain in its chimeric antigen receptor to enhance cellular responses as well as persistence of CTL019 after it is infused into the patient, which may be associated with long-lasting remissions in patients. In 2012, Novartis and Penn entered into a global collaboration to further research, develop and commercialize CAR-T cell therapies, including CTL019, for the investigational treatment of cancers. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) was the first institution to investigate CTL019 in the treatment of pediatric patients and led the single site trial.

SOURCE

https://www.novartis.com/news/media-releases/novartis-car-t-cell-therapy-ctl019-unanimously-10-0-recommended-approval-fda

RISKS:

During the 2015 tisagenlecleucel trial, 47% of participants experienced an

  • extreme inflammatory reaction known as cytokine release syndrome, severe cases of which are called cytokine storms. The syndrome — characterized by symptoms such as high fevers and organ failure — can be life-threatening. But
  • Novartis says trial clinicians were able to manage the reaction successfully in all cases.
  • Neurological problems such as seizures and hallucinations were also relatively common but temporary,
  • the Novartis team reported. This is in stark contrast to some other CAR-T trials that have,
  • over the past year, reported the deaths of several participants from severe brain swelling.
  • Novartis’s therapy is not identical to the CAR-T cells used in those trials, which were administered in adults, but the deaths cast a pall over the entire field.

To generate a batch of tisagenlecleucel, white blood cells are purified from a sample of a patient’s blood and shipped to a central processing centre. There, staff use a virus to insert into the T cells genes that encode a cellular receptor — called a chimaeric antigen receptor — that will recognize leukaemia cells.

SOURCE

Engineered cell therapy for cancer gets thumbs up from FDA advisers

Treatment shows promise in young people with leukaemia, but safety risks abound.

Heidi Ledford, 12 July 2017

http://www.nature.com/news/engineered-cell-therapy-for-cancer-gets-thumbs-up-from-fda-advisers-1.22304?WT.ec_id=NEWSDAILY-20170713

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CHI’s Combination Immunotherapy Design Models, February 20-22, 2017, Moscone North Convention Center, San Francisco, CA – part of the 24th International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Fifth Annual

Combination Immunotherapy Design Models

Preclinical Approaches and Biomarkers to Bring Combination Therapies to the Clinic

February 20-22, 2017 | Moscone North Convention Center | San Francisco, CA
Part of the 24th International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference

Despite tremendous progress in our understanding of cancer biology, the majority of novel anticancer therapies fail in clinical trials, which indicates deficiencies in conventional translational approaches. In most cases preclinical data have overpredicted clinical efficacy in oncology. With the rise of immuno-oncology the challenge of in vivo pharmacology was enhanced by the differences in mouse and human immune systems that further damages the predictiveness of preclinical data. The phenomenon of cancer heterogeneity and subsequent drug resistance add another dimension to the preclinical cancer research warranting active work on combination cancer regimens. Better models and approaches are clearly in high and urgent demand and has been worked on by industry and academia scientists. Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s Fifth Annual Translational Models in Oncology and Immuno-Oncology conference is designed to highlight cutting edge advances in in vivo, in vitro and in silico modeling and to facilitate a discussion about effective translational approaches in cancer research.

 

 

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20

10:30 am Conference Program Registration Open

TRANSLATIONAL IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY

11:50 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Terri McClanahan, Ph.D., Executive Director, Molecular Discovery, Biologics, Merck Research Laboratories

12:00 pm KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Rational Development of Combination Therapies in Immuno-Oncology

Michael Kalos, M.D., CSO, Cancer Immunobiology, Eli Lilly

Treatment of patients with combinations of agents, such as CTLA4 and PD1, has provided additional benefit to patients, along with increased toxicity, highlighting the value for developing combination therapies. In this session, we will discuss preclinical and translational strategies and approaches to support the rational development of more effective combination strategies that lead to increased clinical benefit for patients.

12:30 Biomarker Development for the Era of Combination Cancer Immunotherapy

Terri McClanahan, Ph.D., Executive Director, Molecular Discovery, Biologics, Merck Research Laboratories

Keytruda® (pembrolizumab), a PD-1-specific monoclonal antibody, is approved in the U.S. for advanced melanoma, NSCLC and SCCHN, and is being studied in >30 cancers. Efforts are now underway to extend the benefit of cancer immunotherapy to more patients through the use of anti PD-1-based combination regimens. However, significant challenges remain to identify the best combinations that provide true immune synergy, and to target the right combinations to the right patients who will experience unambiguous clinical benefit. Biomarker and translational research-driven strategies can guide the future state of the field, ultimately allowing for the development of precision medicine approaches to combination cancer immunotherapy.

1:00 Session Break

1:10 Luncheon Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Enjoy Lunch on Your Own

2:10 Session Break

TRANSLATIONAL IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY (CONT.)

2:30 Chairperson’s Remarks

Christian Gerdes, Ph.D., Head, Pharmacology, Roche Pharma Research & Early Development, Roche

2:40 Immunocompetent Mouse Models as a Tool for Cancer Immunotherapy Pipeline Advancement

Christian Gerdes, Ph.D., Head, Pharmacology, Roche Pharma Research & Early Development, Roche

As immunotherapy gains more and more traction, the need for more predictive preclinical models grows as well. It is widely recognized that immunocompetent mice are used to assess the anti-tumor efficacy of cancer immunotherapies. This presentation will discuss the uses of mouse models and how they can advance drug pipelines.

3:10 Designing and Executing Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Trials

Pamela N. Munster, M.D., Professor, Medicine, Program Leader, Development Therapeutics, Director, Early Phase Clinical Trials Program, Helen Diller Cancer Center, University of California, San Francisco

A breakdown in immune tumor surveillance plays a crucial role in the development of metastatic cancer. Targeting the programmed death receptor (PD-1) and its ligand (PD-L1) have been major breakthroughs in certain cancers such melanoma, lung and other cancers. However, many cancers, including breast cancers, appear less responsive. We are exploring the roles of tumor lymphocyte infiltration, T cell differential, epigenetic modifiers and the co-operative involvement of other immune pathways to induce responses in immune silent tumors. Translating preclinical findings into early phase clinical studies, we will describe recent advances in how to determine safety, feasibility and efficacy of integrating immunotherapy into targeted therapy and chemotherapy.

3:40 Talimogene Laherparepvec in Combination with Checkpoint Inhibitors: From Bench to Bedside

Pedro J. Beltran, Ph.D., Research Director, Oncology Research, Amgen, Inc.

Checkpoint inhibitors and viral immunotherapy with talimogene laherparepvec have shown significant therapeutic benefit in melanoma patients when used as monotherapies. As these two forms of approved immunotherapy act mostly on different parts of the immunity cycle, studying their combination pre-clinically and clinically informs their future development. We have used 3 syngeneic murine models to study the pharmacodynamic and efficacy changes driven by the combination of talimogene laherparepvec and blockade of CTLA-4 or PD-1/PD-L1. Clinical trials testing these combinations in the clinic are currently ongoing.

4:10 Presentation to be Announced

 

4:25 Sponsored Presentation (Opportunity Available)

4:40 Refreshment Break and Transition to Plenary Session

5:00 Plenary Keynote Session

6:00 Grand Opening Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

7:30 Close of Day

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21

7:30 am Registration Open and Morning Coffee

8:00 Plenary Keynote Session

9:00 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

TUMOR MODELS FOR CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY

10:05 Chairperson’s Remarks

Gavin Thurston, Vice President, Oncology and Angiogenesis Research, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

10:15 Mouse Models to Test Human Cancer Immuno-Therapeutics

Gavin Thurston, Vice President, Oncology and Angiogenesis Research, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Preclinical in vivo tumor models are essential to test anti-tumor activity and side-effect profiles of novel immunotherapeutics. However, antibody-based therapies often do not cross-react with the corresponding murine targets, making such tests difficult. We have utilized Regeneron’s capabilities in murine genetic engineering to develop several approaches of combining functional immune cells with preclinical tumor models. We have used these approaches for preclinical testing of both checkpoint inhibiting antibodies and T cell-engaging bispecific antibodies.

10:45 Characterization of Molecular and Cellular Properties of Murine Syngeneic Models to Aid Model Selection and Biomarker Discovery for Immune-Oncology Programs

Wenyan Zhong, Ph.D., Senior Principal Scientist, Oncology R&D Group, Pfizer

Preclinical in vivo models for most immuno-oncology (IO) programs require the use of immunocompetent mice bearing syngeneic tumors. To facilitate model selection for use in preclinical efficacy studies, we characterized a panel of mouse tumor cell lines and syngeneic tumor tissues. In this talk, we will discuss molecular and cellular properties of these models.

11:15 Case Study: Blockade of Phosphatidylserine-Mediated Tumor Immune Suppression to Enhance Immune Checkpoint Therapies

Michael Gray, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, Peregrine Pharmaceuticals

Phosphatidylserine (PS) exposure in tumors induces non-inflammatory signals which contribute to an immunosuppressive environment. Antibody blockade of PS activates immune responses by promoting M1 macrophages, maturation of dendritic cells and inducing adaptive T-cell responses. PS targeting antibodies enhance the anti-tumor activity of checkpoint antibodies in preclinical tumor models.

MIBioresearch11:45 Methods and Models for Preclinical Immuno-Oncology

Dylan Daniel, Ph.D., Director, Scientific Development, MI Bioresearch

MI Bioresearch has characterized an array of syngeneic immuno-oncology models to support in vivo pharmacology drug discovery. Our characterization includes comprehensive lymphoid and myeloid flow cytometry immune profiling, and model responses to checkpoint inhibitors and focal beam radiotherapy combinations.

12:00 pm Exemplar_GeneticsGenetically Engineered Miniswine Models of Cancer

John Swart, Ph.D., President, Exemplar Genetics

Current preclinical models of cancer fail to accurately recapitulate human disease and do not effectively translated to the clinic. Recently, Exemplar Genetics has developed a genetically engineered miniature swine model that contains a conditional KRAS mutation on the background of TP53-targeted pigs, the ExeGen® TP53+/R167H& KRAS+/G12D miniswine model. This model should allow for the inducement of human-like tumors in a tissue specific manner. Initial characterization of induced tumors demonstrates the transformative nature of this model.

12:30 Session Break

 Mitra Biotech12:35 Luncheon Presentation to be Announced

1:25 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

ADVANCING TRANSLATION WITH NOVEL APPROACHES AND INDUSTRY-ACADEMIA PARTNERSHIPS

2:00 Chairperson’s Remarks

Lawrence B. Schook, Ph.D., Gutsgell Professor, Animal Sciences and Radiology, University of Illinois

2:10 Collaboration for Translation: Academic-Industry Partnerships to Explore Novel Opportunities in the Area of Immuno-Oncology

Joseph Dal Porto, Ph.D., Director, Pfizer Center for Therapeutic Innovation

The Center for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) -San Francisco is a direct partnership between Pfizer and leading academic institutions, including UC San Francisco, UC San Diego, Stanford University and others, to establish open collaborations designed to rapidly identify targets and develop therapeutic NMEs. The long-term goal is to substantially reduce the time required to translate promising bio-medical research into new medications and therapies. Most recently, CTI has joined with academic oncology and immunology researchers to understand the translatability of emerging targets in the Immuno-Oncology therapeutic arena.

2:40 An Example of a Collaboration between Industry and Academia for Testing Combination Therapies in Preclinical Patient-Derived Xenograft Models of Glioblastoma

Anderson Clark, Ph.D., Director, Translational in vivo Pharmacology, Oncology, EMD Serono Research & Development Institute

John De Groot, Associate Professor, Chair Ad Interim, Neuro-Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

The use of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of cancer has increased over the past decade, both in industry and academia, providing preclinical data to support both drug development and basic oncology research.

3:20 The Oncopig Cancer Model (OCM): A Platform for Transitional, Translational and Transformative Advances in Cancer Research

Lawrence B. Schook, Ph.D., Gutsgell Professor, Animal Sciences and Radiology,

University of Illinois

Mammalian models are integral components of basic, translational, and clinical cancer research. Recently, there have been advances in creating large animal transitional porcine cancer models, for use in preclinical and translational research studies with transformational impact for human clinical trials. Pigs, due to their anatomy, physiology, metabolism, and genetics, provide an ideal investigational transitional platform for human clinical trials and offer a critical pathway to narrow gaps in cancer therapy.

3:40 Presentation to be Announced

 

4:10 Hollywood Oscar Dessert Reception in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

5:00 Breakout Discussions in the Exhibit Hall

These interactive discussion groups are open to all attendees, speakers, sponsors, & exhibitors. Participants choose a specific breakout discussion group to join. Each group has a moderator to ensure focused discussions around key issues within the topic. This format allows participants to meet potential collaborators, share examples from their work, vet ideas with peers, and be part of a group problem-solving endeavor. The discussions provide an informal exchange of ideas and are not meant to be a corporate or specific product discussion. Pre-registration to sign up for one of the topics will occur a week or two prior to the Event via the App.

Humanized Mouse Models

Gavin Thurston, Vice President, Oncology and Angiogenesis Research, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

  • Appropriate applications of humanized mouse models in immuno-oncology
  • Limitations of current models
  • Areas of future development

Next Generation Cellular Models

Scott Martin, Senior Scientific Manager, Group Lead, Functional Genomics, Discovery Oncology, Genetech Inc.

  • Cancer cell line profiling
  • Large-scale genomic and drug response screening
  • Future directions

Biomarkers for Cancer Combination Design

Jianda Yuan, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Translational Immuno-Oncology Research, Early Clinical Oncology Development, Merck & Co., Inc.

  • Validation of biomarkers before use in clinical care
  • Using prognostic and predictive biomarkers for enrichment and stratification factors in drug development
  • Challenges and Implementation of biomarkers into clinical practice

6:00 Close of Day

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22

7:00 am Registration Open

7:00 Breakfast Presentation (Sponsorship Opportunity Available) or Morning Coffee

8:00 Plenary Keynote Session

10:00 Refreshment Break and Poster Competition Winner Announced in the Exhibit Hall

TRANSLATIONAL BIOMARKERS IN CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY DEVELOPMENT

10:50 Chairperson’s Remarks

Jianda Yuan, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Translational Immuno-Oncology Research, Early Clinical Oncology Development, Merck & Co., Inc.

11:00 Next Generation Biomarkers for the Era of Combination Cancer Immunotherapy

Jianda Yuan, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Translational Immuno-Oncology Research, Early Clinical Oncology Development, Merck & Co., Inc.

Sarah Javaid, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Discovery Pharmacogenomics, Genetics and Pharmacogenomics, Merck & Co., Inc.

Combination approaches are the keys to improving clinical response. From preclinical immune-oncology mouse models to patients enrolled on clinical trials, novel high throughput technologies enable us to understand the mechanisms underlying the complex interactions between the immune system and cancer, identify predictive biomarkers for the patients who will most likely benefit from current immunotherapies, avoid immune-related adverse events and guide the future combination cancer immunotherapy.

11:30 High-Content Molecular Profiling in Preclinical Immuno-Oncology Research

Ruslan Novosiadly, Senior Research Advisor, Cancer Immunobiology, Biomarkers, Eli Lilly

Recent clinical data have revealed the remarkable potential for T cell modulating agents to induce potent and durable responses in a subset of cancer patients. In this presentation, we discuss molecular approaches, platforms and strategies that enable a broader interrogation of the activity of agents that modulate the activity of tumor-specific T cells as well as examples of data sets generated in preclinical studies that have provided important insights into the biological activity of T cell therapies and support further rational development of this exciting treatment modality.

12:00 pm Utility of Quantifying Circulating Lymphocyte Populations as Pharmacodynamic Biomarkers in Trials of Immune Oncology Therapeutics

Nathan Standifer, Ph.D., Scientist II, Clinical Pharmacology and DMPK, MedImmune

Immune oncology (IO) therapeutics are directed at inducing immune responses against tumor cells. Intrinsic to this mechanism of action is the activation of circulating immune cells, which can be most effectively monitored using flow cytometry-based assays. In this presentation, aspects of assay development, validation, implementation and analysis of clinical flow cytometry datasets will be discussed. Results from clinical trials of IO as single agents or in combination with other IO will be shown and strategies for interpretation and post-hoc analyses will be detailed.

12:30 Session Break

Cellecta 12:40 Luncheon Presentation to be Announced

 

1:10 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall and Last Chance for Poster Viewing

CELLULAR MODELS FOR COMBINATION THERAPY DESIGN

1:50 Chairperson’s Remarks

Scott Martin, Senior Scientific Manager, Group Lead, Functional Genomics, Discovery Oncology, Genetech

2:00 Understanding and Predicting Cellular Response through Chemical and Functional Genomic Profiling of Well-Characterized Cancer Cell Lines

Scott Martin, Senior Scientific Manager, Group Lead, Functional Genomics, Discovery Oncology, Genetech

Determining relationships between genomic features and drug sensitivity is central to the concept of personalized medicine and indication selection. Many studies have highlighted the value of integrating omics data with drug activity across cell lines to identify predictors of response. Here we extend upon these studies with numerous chemical and genetic perturbations to explore such relationships. Data reveals both known and novel correlations, and was also used to explore best experimental and computational practices.

2:30 Beyond Genomics: Identifying Treatment Options for Refractory Cancer Patients Using Real Time Functional Assays and FDA Approved Drug Combinations

Matthew De Silva, CEO, Founder, Notable Labs

Refractory cancer patients often have resistant disease that does not respond to single agent therapy. Combination strategies are promising, but patient heterogeneity makes clinical trial design difficult. Next generation functional phenotypic assays using a patient’s cancer cells can identify potentially synergistic treatments in a matter of days, but the combinatorial space is often larger than the available cells. In silico models that employ ‘omic data from a patient can prioritize which combinations to test ex vivo. If the agent(s) of choice are approved, physicians can then prescribe them

3:00 Generation of ex vivo Tumor Models from PDX Tumors as a Platform for Clinically Relevant Anticancer Drug Discovery

Geoffrey A. Bartholomeusz, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director, siRNA Core Facility, Department of Experimental Therapeutics, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Monolayer cell cultures platforms inadequately represent the complex tumor microenvironment and drugs identified by these systems have failed when translated into the clinics. Clinically relevant PDX systems are both costly and time consuming. We have developed a clinically relevant ex vivo tumor tissue system derived from a PDX tumor, and preliminary data confirms its potential to serve as a platform for clinically relevant drug discovery in a time and cost effective manner.

3:30 Session Break

CRISPR FOR TUMOR MODELING, INTERNATIONAL INITIATIVES

3:40 Chairperson’s Remarks

Monte Winslow, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Genetics, Stanford University

3:45 Cancer Modeling with in vivo CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing

Monte Winslow, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Genetics, Stanford University

Conventional genetically engineered mouse models of human cancer have been instrumental in our understanding of all aspects of cancer development. However, these models are much too labor-intensive, expensive, and slow to perform the extensive molecular analyses needed to adequately comprehend this disease. I will discuss our ongoing work to employ CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing to generate cancer models and illuminate gene function during cancer progression within the natural in vivo setting.

4:15 Tailored Pre-Clinical Models with CRISPR-Based Genome Editing

Lukas Edward Dow, Assistant Professor, Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine

CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing has changed the way we design and execute in vivo experiments. We are using CRISPR-based genome editing in stem cells and in adult mice to generate tailored pre-clinical models. This allows both a deeper understanding of the genetic underpinnings of cancer progression and provides a platform to interrogate new therapeutic strategies in specific genetic contexts, which is key for realizing the potential of personalized medicine.

4:45 The Human Cancer Model Initiative

Louis M. Staudt, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Center for Cancer Genomics, Co-Chief, Lymphoid Malignancies Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health

The Human Cancer Model Initiative (HCMI) aims to generate 1000 new cancer cell lines directly from patient biopsy material using a variety of technologies, including organoids and conditionally reprogrammed cells. Each cell line will be genomically characterized and clinical diagnostic and therapeutic data will be gathered from the participating patients. The new cell lines and their associated data will be made available to the research community to promote a deeper understanding of cancer and its response or resistance to therapy.

5:15 Close of Conference Program

SOURCE

http://www.triconference.com/Pre-Clinical-Oncology-Models/

From: Marina Filshtinsky <pete@healthtech.com>

Date: Wednesday, December 14, 2016 at 10:00 AM

To: Aviva Lev-Ari <AvivaLev-Ari@alum.berkeley.edu>

Subject: Combination Immunotherapy Design Models

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Researchers at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s: Differences in wiring of “exhausted” and effective T cells indicate possible gene-editing targets

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

“Exhausted T cells display a variety of functional defects,” says Nicholas Haining, MD, of Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s, senior author of the new paper. “They are paralyzed and don’t have the fire-power to destroy cancer or virally-infected cells. For us, the question in this study was, do exhausted cells represent a distinct type of T cell or are they merely a ‘groggy’ version of functional T cells?”

With chronically infected mice as their model, the researchers used a new technology called ATAC-seq to map the regulatory regions of the genome – the sections of DNA involved in switching genes on and off – in the animals’ exhausted and functional CD8+ T cells. (CD8+ T cells are programmed to identify and eliminate cancerous and infected cells.)

“We found the landscape of regulatory regions to be fundamentally different in exhausted and functional T cells,” Haining says. “There were thousands of instances where a regulatory region appeared in exhausted T cells but not in their functional counterparts, and vice versa. This tells us that the two types of cells use very different wiring diagrams to control their gene activity.”

The researchers then tested whether removing a regulatory stretch of DNA that spurs the production of PD-1 would drive down expression of the protein. Using CRISPR/Cas9 technology, they snipped out that region and indeed, PD-1 expression dropped.

SOURCE

http://www.danafarberbostonchildrens.org/news/research-into-basic-workings-of-immune-system-and-cancer.aspx

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European Cancer Congress: Immunotherapy cancer drug hailed as ‘game changer’

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN 

 

9 October 2016

Bristol-Myers Squibb 

An immunotherapy drug has been described as a potential “game-changer” in promising results presented at the European Cancer Congress.

In a study of head and neck cancer, more patients taking nivolumab survived for longer compared with those who were treated with chemotherapy.

In another study, combining nivolumab with another drug shrank tumours in advanced kidney cancer patients.

Immunotherapy works by harnessing the immune system to destroy cancer cells.

Advanced head and neck cancer has very poor survival rates.

In a trial of more than 350 patients, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 36% treated with the immunotherapy drug nivolumab were alive after one year compared with 17% who received chemotherapy.

Patients also experienced fewer side effects from immunotherapy.

 

SOURCE

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-37588541

 

Other related article published on the topic in this Open Access Online Scientific Journal include:

Immuno-Therapy Strategies on BioMarker’s cutoff value for defining PD-L1 positive/negative patients: First-line and Second-line setting – FDA stand on BMS’s “Test-free Prescribing” in Opdivo (nivolumab) vs Merck’s “Companion Diagnostic” in Keytruda (pembrolizumab) vs Genetech’s “Complementary Diagnostics” and”Companion Diagnostic”?? in Tecentriq (atezolizumab)

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/13/immuno-therapy-strategies-on-biomarkers-cutoff-value-for-defining-pd-l1-positivenegative-patients-first-line-and-second-line-setting-fda-stand-on-bmss-test-free-prescribing-in-opdivo-nivo/

 

 

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Meeting report: Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 4th Annual Immuno-Oncology SUMMIT: Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy Stream – 2016

Reporter: David Orchard-Webb, PhD

 

Cambridge Healthtech Institute’s 4th Annual Immuno-Oncology SUMMIT took place August 29-September 2, 2016 at the Marriott Long Wharf Boston, MA. The following is a synthesis of the Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy stream.

 

Biomarkers

 

Biomarkers for patient selection in clinical trials is an important consideration for developing cancer therapeutics and immunotherapeutics such as oncolytic viruses in particular. Howard L. Kaufman, M.D., discussed the development of biomarkers for oncolytic virus efficaciousness and patient selection focusing on Imlygic (HSV-1). An important consideration for any viral therapy is the presence or absence of the receptors that the virus uses to gain entry to the cell. For example HSV-1 utilises Nectin and HVEM cell surface receptors and their expression levels on a patient’s tumour will influence whether Imlygic can gain entry and replicate in tumours. In addition he reported that B-RAF mutation facilitates Imlygic infection and that MEK inhibitors sensitise melanoma cell lines to Imlygic. Stephen Russell also presented data on the mathematical modelling of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) tumour spread and the development of a companion diagnostic based on gene expression profiling to predict patients whose tumours will be readily infected.

 

The immune reaction triggered by oncolytic viruses is important to monitor. Howard L. Kaufman discussed immunogenic cell death and stated that oncolytic viruses trigger immunity through the release of pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). He reported that immunosuppressive Tregs, PDL1 and IDO expression were associated with anti-cancer CD8+ T cell infiltration. Imlygic also promoted the tumour infiltration of monocytes which depending on the context may either be immunosuppressive or beneficial through recruiting natural killer (NK) cells. This highlights the importance of combining Imlygic with other immune modulating therapeutics that can modulate the immunosuppressive cells and messengers that are present in the tumour environment. He discussed the finding that high mutation burden is a marker for response to immune checkpoint inhibition (such as CTLA and PD1) and suggested that due to the fact that oncolytic viruses release tumour associated antigens (TAA) during cell lysis this may also be a predictive marker for oncolytic viral therapy immune response. Supporting this notion Stephen Russell reported that a patient that underwent complete remission of multiple myeloma plasmacytomas in response to a measles virus oncotherapy had a very high mutational burden.

 

Targeting the tumour stroma with adenoviral vectors

 

VCN Biosciences SL is a privately-owned company focused in the development of new therapeutic approaches for tumors that lack effective treatment”. Manel Cascalló presented data from an ongoing phase I, multi-center, open-label dose escalation study of intravenous administration of VCN-01 oncolytic adenovirus with or without intravenous gemcitabine and Abraxane® in advanced solid tumors. Patients were selected based on low anti-Ad levels. Manel highlighted the problems of the pancreatic cancer matrix which limit intratumoral virus spread and also reduces chemotherapy uptake and tumour lymphocyte infiltration. VCN-01 expresses hyaluronidase to degrade the extracellular matrix and is administered intravenously. Liver tropism is reduced by replacement of the heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycan putative-binding site KKTK of the fiber shaft with an integrin-binding motif RGDK. VCN-01 replicates only in Rb tumour suppressor pathway dysregulated cancers, achieved through genetic modification of the E1A protein. In previous mouse xenograft studies of pancreatic and melanoma tumours VCN-01 showed efficaciousness in intratumoral spread, degradation of hyaluronan, and evidence of sensitisation to chemotherapy. The mouse models suggested that strategies that further target other major components of the ECM such as collagen and stromal cells may increase VCN-01 efficaciousness further [1]. The phase I trial supported safety and demonstrated that when administered intravenously VCN-01 reached the pancreatic tumour and replicated. In combination with gemcitabine and Abraxane® neutropenia was observed earlier than with chemotherapy alone. This is suggestive of increased efficaciousness of the chemotherapeutics as would be expected if a greater effective concentration reached the tumour. Biopsies suggested that VCN-01 shifted the balance of immune cells towards CD8+ T cells and away from immunosuppressive Treg.

 

Adenovirus tumor-specific immunogene (T-SIGn) Therapy

 

PsiOxus Therapeutics Ltd develops novel therapeutics for serious diseases with a particular focus upon cancer”. Brian Champion discussed the application EnAd a chimeric Ad11p/Ad3 adenovirus which retains the Ad11 receptor usage (CD46 and DSG2). PsiOxus are developing Membrane-integrated T-cell Engagers (MiTe) proteins delivered via EnAd. These MiTe proteins are expressed at the cancer cell surface and engage with and activate T-cells. Their lead candidate NG-348 showed promising T-cell activation in vitro.

 

Vaccinia virus – overcoming the immunosuppressive cancer microenvironment

 

David Kirn provided a recent history of the oncolytic virus field and provided an overview of the validation of vaccinia virus over the period 2007-14 stating that it can produce cancer oncolysis, induce an immune response, and result in angiogenic ablation.

 

Western Oncolytics develops novel therapies for cancer”. Steve Thorne discussed strategies to mitigate the immunosupressive environment encountered by oncolytic viruses. He presented data from models of tumours resistant to vaccinia oncolytic virus that Treg, and myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) numbers were higher whereas CD8+ T-cell levels were lower than in a sensitive model. He elaborated on a strategy of targeting the PGE2 pathway in order to reduce MDSC numbers entering the tumour microenvironment. He demonstrated that vaccinia virus expressing HPGD has reduced levels of MDSC in target tumours.

 

Transgene (Euronext: TNG), part of Institut Mérieux, is a publicly traded French biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing targeted immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer and infectious diseases”. Eric Quéméneur presented preclinical data on Transgene’s oncolytic vaccinia virus TG6002 which expresses a chimeric bifunctional enzyme which converts the nontoxic prodrug 5‐FC into the toxic metabolites 5‐FU and 5‐FUMP. This allows systemic delivery of the non-toxic prodrug chemotherapy with activation at tumours infected with the Vaccinia oncolytic virus. The virus plus prodrug combination was effective against all of the solid tumour cell lines tested. In addition the combination was effective against glioblastoma cancer stem-like cells. In pancreatic and colorectal cancer cell line models the vaccinia prodrug combination was synergistic or additive when combined with additional chemotherapeutics. In immunocompetent mouse models TG6002 increased the Tumour Teff/Treg ratio indicative of a shift from an immunosuppressive to an immunocompetent microenvironment. Furthermore in mouse models TG6002 induced an abscopal response.

 

Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) – A single shot cure for cancer?

 

Vyriad strives to develop potent, safe and cost-effective cancer therapies in areas of unmet need”. Stephen Russell presented his position that oncolytic viruses could be a single shot cure for cancer. He emphasised the point that in oncolytic viral therapy the initial dose will be the most effective due to the relatively low levels of neutralising antibodies present and therefore defining the optimal dose is critical. The trend is for increased initial dose. Two IND’s have been accepted by the FDA, one for measles virus and the other for VSV.

 

John Bell described using VSV to deliver Artificial microRNAs (amiRNAs) to tumours. It was demonstrate that a VSV delivering ARID1A amiRNA was synthetic lethal when combined with EZH2 (methyl transferase) inhibition. He postulated that oncolytic viruses can be used to create factories of therapeutic amiRNAs transmitted throughout the tumour by exosomes.

 

HSV-1 an update on immune checkpoint combinations

 

Amgen was the first company to launch an FDA approved (October 2015) oncolytic virus, trade name Imlygic, which was developed by the UK based company Biovex. Jennifer Gansert gave a background on Imlygic and presented new data on combination with the CTLA4 inhibitor Ipilimumab. In mouse models abscopal response in contralateral tumours was 100% when a single tumour was treated with Imlygic combined with systemic delivery of anti-CTLA4. A Phase 1b clinical trial to test the combination in unresectable melanoma patients was completed and published in 2016. Fifty percent of the patients had durable response for greater than 6 months and 20% of the patients had ongoing complete response after a year of follow-up. Overall 72% of patients has controlled disease (no progression). In addition Amgen is recruiting for a phase III trial of the anti-PD1 Pembrolizumab in combination with Imlygic for unresectable stage IIIB to IVM1c melanoma.

 

Virttu is a privately held biotechnology company, which has pioneered the development of oncolytic viruses for treating cancer”. Joe Connor discussed Seprehvir an oncolyic virus based on HSV-1 like Imlygic which is in clinical trials for which 100 patients have been treated to date. The trial data indicate that Seprehvir induces CD8+ T cell infiltration and activity as well as a novel anti-tumour immune response against select antigens such as Mage A8/9. Preclinical investigations focus on combination with checkpoint inhibitor antibodies, CAR-T targeted to GD2, and synergies with targeted therapies on the mTOR/VEGFR signalling axes.

 

Reovirus – an update

 

Oncolytics Biotech Inc. is a clinical-stage oncology company focused on the development of oncolytic viruses for use as cancer therapeutics in some of the most prevalent forms of the disease”. Brad Thompson provided an update on REOLYSIN®, Oncolytics Biotech’s proprietary T3D reovirus. Highlights included concluding the first checkpoint inhibitor and REOLYSIN® study in patients with pancreatic cancer and preparing for registration study in multiple myeloma.

 

Maraba virus – privileged antigen presentation in splenic B cell follicles

 

Turnstone Biologics is developing “a first-in-class oncolytic viral immunotherapy that combines a bioselected and engineered oncolytic virus to directly lyse tumors with a potent vaccine technology to drive tumor-antigen specific T-cell responses of unprecedented magnitude”. Caroline Breitbach described Maraba MG1 Oncolytic Virus which was isolated from Brazilian sand flies. Their lead candidate is an MG1 virus expressing the tumour antigen MAGE-A3. In mouse models a combination of adenovirus-MAGE-A3 and MG1-MAGE-A3 in a prime-boost regimen produced extremely robust CD8+ T cell responses. It is thought that a privileged antigen presentation in splenic B cell follicles maximizes the T cell responses. A phase I/II trial is enrolling patients to test the adenovirus-MAGE-A3 and MG1-MAGE-A3 prime-boost regimen in patients with MAGE‐A3 positive solid tumours for which there is no life prolonging standard therapy.

 

Oncolytic virus manufacturing

 

Anthony Davies of Dark Horse Consulting Inc. reviewed the manufacturing hurdles facing oncolytic viruses and pointed out that thus far adenovirus is the gold standard. He discussed isoelectric focusing for virus manufacturing, process flow and the procurement of key raw materials. He emphasized the importance of codifying analytical methods, and the statistical design of experiments (DOE) for optimal use of finite resources.

 

Mark Federspiel described the difficulties associated with measles virus manufacturing which include the large pleomorphic size (100-300nm) which cannot be filter sterilized efficiently due to shear stress. As a result aseptic conditions must be maintained throughout the manufacturing process. There are also issues with genomic contamination from infected cells. He described improved manufacturing bioprocesses to overcome these limitations using the HeLa S3 cell line. Using this cell line resulted in less residual genomic DNA than the standard however it was still relatively high compared to vaccine production. There is still much room for improvement.

 

REFERENCES
Rodríguez-García A, Giménez-Alejandre M, Rojas JJ, Moreno R, Bazan-Peregrino M, Cascalló M, Alemany R. Safety and efficacy of VCN-01, an oncolytic adenovirus combining fiber HSG-binding domain replacement with RGD and hyaluronidase expression. Clin Cancer Res. 2015 Mar 15;21(6):1406-18. Doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-2213. Epub 2014 Nov 12. PubMed PMID: 25391696.

 

Other Related Articles Published In This Open Access Online Journal Include The Following:

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/07/15/agenda-for-oncolytic-virus-immunotherapy-unlocking-oncolytic-virotherapies-from-science-to-commercialization-chis-4th-annual-immuno-oncology-summit-august-29-30-2016-marriott-lo/

Real Time Coverage and eProceedings of Presentations on August 29 and August 30, 2016 CHI’s 4th IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY SUMMIT – Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy Track

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/01/real-time-coverage-and-eproceedings-of-presentations-on-august-29-and-august-30-2016-chis-4th-immuno-oncology-summit-oncolytic-virus-immunotherapy-track/

LIVE Tweets via @pharma_BI and by @AVIVA1950 for August 29 and August 30, 2016 of CHI’s 4th IMMUNO-ONCOLOGY SUMMIT – Oncolytic Virus Immunotherapy Track, Marriott Long Wharf Hotel – Boston

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2016/09/01/live-tweets-via-pharma_bi-and-by-aviva1950-for-august-29-and-august-30-2016-of-chis-4th-immuno-oncology-summit-oncolytic-virus-immunotherapy-track-marriott-long-wharf-hotel/

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LIVE 9/21 3:20PM to 6:40PM KINASE INHIBITORS FOR CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY COMBINATIONS & KINASE INHIBITORS FOR AUTOIMMUNE AND INFLAMMATORY DISEASES at CHI’s 14th  Discovery On Target, 9/19 – 9/22/2016, Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston

http://www.discoveryontarget.com/

http://www.discoveryontarget.com/crispr-therapies/

Leaders in Pharmaceutical Business Intelligence (LPBI) Group is a

Media Partner of CHI for CHI’s 14th Annual Discovery on Target taking place September 19 – 22, 2016 in Boston.

In Attendance, streaming LIVE using Social Media

Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

Editor-in-Chief

http://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com

#BostonDOT16

@BostonDOT

 

KINASE INHIBITORS FOR CANCER IMMUNOTHERAPY COMBINATIONS

3:20 Chairperson’s Opening Remarks

Guido J.R. Zaman, Ph.D., Managing Director & Head of Biology, Netherlands Translational Research Center B.V. (NTRC)

3:25 FEATURED PRESENTATION: Inhibition of PI3K and Tubulin

Doriano_Fabbro

Doriano Fabbro, Ph.D., CSO, PIQUR Therapeutics

The PI3K signaling pathway is frequently activated in tumors. PQR309 is a selective dual inhibitor of PI3K and mTOR (currently in Phase I) in cancer patients. The preclinical pharmacology and toxicology of PQR309 is presented, including its activity in lymphoma preclinical models. In addition, we elucidate structural factors defining the PI3K inhibitory activity and tubulin-binding of PQR309 derivatives.

  • PQR309 & GDC0941 arrest cells i G1/S (typical for PI3K/mTOR Inhibitor)
  • What drives Antiproliferative Activity of BKM120: PI3K or MT or both?
  • BKM120 Binds to beta-Tubulin/alpha -Tubulin Interfere
  • T2R-TTL complex
  • Orientation of BKM120 in PI3K
  • PQR309 – is a brain penetrating, PK and BAV by PO, good metabolic stability
  • PQR309 ANti-proliferative in Lymphoma
  • Clinical efficacy – Now in Phase II

4:05 Design and Development of a Novel PI3K-p110β/δ Inhibitor, KA2237 with Combined Tumor Immunotherapeutic, Growth Inhibition and Anti-Metastatic Activity

Stephen_Shuttleworth

Stephen Shuttleworth, Ph.D., FRSC, CChem, CSO, Karus Therapeutics Ltd.

The design and development of KA2237, a novel and selective inhibitor of PI3K-p110β/δ, will be described. This molecule has clinical potential in the treatment of solid and hematological malignancies, through its direct inhibition of tumor growth and metastatic spread, and through immunotherapeutic mechanisms. Phase I studies for KA2237 are scheduled to commence in Q2 2016 at the MD Anderson Cancer Center.

  • Design & Development of Novel, Oral, selective PI3K enzyme family: CLass I,II, III, IV based upon:
  • Class I IA IB
  • KA2237: DUal PI3K – p110beta/delta-selective inhibitor: CTL, Treg, p1 106 T sell response
  • Molecular signature in the tumor
  • WT p110delta, WT 1 10beta+, Mutant p1 10Beta+, PTEN-null, Ibrutinib-resistance, Growth inhibition; suppression of metastesis (p110beta
  • small molecule combination agents: potential aided by selectivity over p110
  • KA2237: clinical Pi3K-p110beta/delta Inhibitor- ATP -comtetitive
  • Doxorubicin -cytotoxic control
  • KA2237 superior activity to Idelasib
  • KA2237 – suppression of micro-metastasis in 4T1 synergenic model
  • Tumor Growth inhibition Pre-Surgery
  • Tumor Re-Growth Inhibition Post-Surgery
  • metastasis post surgery
  • Tumor-free mice post-surgery
  • CHemistry: IHC -pAKT; IHC – FOxp3+
  • KA2237 inhibits HGF-stimulated 4T1 tumor
  • 2004 – Preclinical develpemnt PI3K is reported
  • 2006 First PI#K is enter Clinical Trials
  • Targeting p1110Beta (PIKeCB) mutations in cancer with KA2237
  • DIscovery of the mutations lead drug discovery
  • KA@@#&: Potential in treatment of B-Cell Lymphom AS IN TARGETING IBRUTINIB RESISTENCE
  • GROWTH INHIBITION IN HEMATOLOGICAL CANCERS TUMOE CELL LINE PANEL
  • KA2237 – differentiated from competing Pi3K is Superior efficacy cf. p110delta
  • Combination: Not histone deacetylase but a tubulin deacetylase – Hsp90 ans Hsp70
  • T cell exhausion: Tumor growth inhibition vs Suppression of lung metastasis
  • Tumor BiologyRationale vs Clinical Agents
  • Oncogenic mutants, solid tumor supression magrophage, combination PD-1, CTLA$
  • FDA -approved kinase inhibitors

Summary

  1. phase I clinical study commenced in pathients with B cell Lymphoma
  2. Potential for treatment of solid and hematological malignancies

4:35 InCELL Pulse: A Novel Cellular Target Engagement Assay Platform for Drug Discovery

Treiber_Daniel

Daniel Treiber, Ph.D., Vice President, KINOMEscan, DiscoverX Corporation

InCELL Pulse is a quantitative and rapid method for measuring cellular target engagement potencies for small molecule inhibitors. InCELL Pulse capitalizes on two novel DiscoverX technologies, Enzyme Fragment Complementation (EFC) and Pulse Denaturation, which overcome the limitations of related target engagement methods. Examples across multiple target classes will be described.

  • InCELL Pulse – cellular Target ENgagement Assays
  • cellular thermal stabilization-based approach
  • simple, rapid and generig cellular alternative to CETSa
  • Thermal melting Curves vs Isothermal Inhibitor EC50 curves
  • Pulse Denaturation compound binding, or not binding
  • ABL1 Tyrosine Kinase – dose response curve – allosteric Inhibitor
  • MTH1 Hydrolase: InCELL Pulseassay validated for multiple substrate-competitive inhibitors
  • Validated InCELL Pulse Assays for Diverse Kinases
  • Kinase targets; BRAF, MEC1

Summary

  1. validation across proteins

TTP Labtech4:50 Potential Application of Fluorescence Lifetime Assays to Enable Robust, Rapid Protein Binding Assays

Wylie_Paul

Paul Wylie, Ph.D., Head, Applications, TTP Labtech

Current methods to screen protein binding interactions often have limitations due to the reliance on antibodies, but also interference from fluorescent molecules. Fluorescence lifetime has the potential to overcome these problems through directly labelled proteins and lifetime measurements that are independent of total fluorescence intensity.

  • Protein binding as a target class
  • protein-protein interactions (PPIs)
  1. FRET/HTRF
  2. FP
  3. AlphaScreen

What new in FLT?

  • long lifetime fluorophores, economical reagent platform
  • directly labelled reagents – no antibodies
  • independent of total intensity – reduced interference
  • robustness screen vs nuisance screen – caspase-3
  • productive; reduction false positives: FRET
  • protein-binding assays & FLT formats:
  1. protein – small molecule binding – CECR2
  2. protein – peptide binding: long and sholt lifetime
  3. Site-specific labelling vs Non-selective labelling
  4. Toolbox for PoC
  5. Detection reagents
  6. Further develop technology

5:05 Refreshment Break in the Exhibit Hall with Poster Viewing

 

6:40 End of Day

 

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Immuno-Therapy Strategies on BioMarker’s cutoff value for defining PD-L1 positive/negative patients: First-line and Second-line setting – FDA stand on BMS’s “Test-free Prescribing” in Opdivo (nivolumab) vs Merck’s “Companion Diagnostic” in Keytruda (pembrolizumab) vs Genetech’s “Complementary Diagnostics” and”Companion Diagnostic”?? in Tecentriq (atezolizumab)

Reporter: Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN

 

UPDATED on 7/25/2017

Close to a year after Merck $MRK won an accelerated FDA OK to use its PD-1 checkpoint star Keytruda for treating second-line cases head and neck squamous cell carcinoma in combination with platinum-containing chemo, the pharma giant announced that its big Phase III study for that indication failed.

The pivotal KEYNOTE-040 trial failed to meet the primary endpoint on overall survival in comparing the blockbuster checkpoint against standard therapies, the pharma giant reported. But the current approval stands nevertheless, Merck said in a statement.

“The company noted that the FDA remains comfortable with the drug’s current accelerated approval in this indication despite the trial results,” observed Leerink’s Seamus Fernandez. “Importantly, Keytruda appears to have another shot on goal for full approval in H&N cancer, as the Keynote-048 study in first-line patients could, if positive, serve as the confirmatory trial.”

SOURCE

https://endpts.com/merck-hit-with-another-late-stage-setback-on-checkpoint-star-keytruda/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Tuesday%20%20July%2025%202017&utm_content=Tuesday%20%20July%2025%202017+CID_15fd9125b2763ceaf79f421345542d44&utm_source=ENDPOINTS%20emails&utm_term=Merck%20hit%20with%20another%20late-stage%20setback%20on%20checkpoint%20star%20Keytruda

UPDATED on 5/11/2017

Merck increases grip on its lead in lung cancer, winning approval for Keytruda/chemo combo as first-line therapy

UPDATED on 5/10/2017

Roche’s shocking Tecentriq fail raises red flag for bladder cancer rivals

Roche’s Tecentriq wasn’t supposed to fail its phase 3 trial in second-line bladder cancer. But that’s what it just did—and the data shortfall not only endangers the drug’s conditional FDA approval, but could augur trouble ahead for other checkpoint inhibitors that followed Tecentriq into the field.

Tecentriq, approved last year on the basis of phase 2 data showing a durable response to the drug, failed to prove it could actually prolong patients’ lives, the company said Wednesday. The bladder cancer indication, Tecentriq’s first, accounts for about 70% of the med’s current sales, analysts say, and the FDA could well decide to strike that approval off the drug’s label.

“[W]e assume that this will put this indication at risk of being removed from the label,” Leerink analyst Seamus Fernandez wrote Wednesday morning, noting that the results were unexpected. “This comes as a surprise to us, considering Merck’s Keytruda showed an overall survival benefit.”

SOURCE

http://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/roche-s-shocking-tecentriq-fail-raises-red-flag-for-bladder-cancer-rivals?utm_medium=nl&utm_source=internal&mrkid=993697&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTVRCbFltUXpZMk0wTURRMCIsInQiOiIydnRsZ0xzT3prd3EzYVNoV0xyT1ZCWnFCaDFScVdwd1dyMmpMZjQycU9zOEVJSTVZalY5dHNyQ1E0XC96eXhadkpRSE5JRGoydHNzNFA2WUVaRzRVbUxmNmhicVZ4YkE3c1NmNkhoSUxBK0VmU2dUM3FBWEhrOFp2UHoySXhrUUEifQ%3D%3D

UPDATED on 4/13/2017

World’s Top Ten Cancer Drugs by 2020  (million USD)

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2017/04/13/worlds-top-ten-cancer-drugs-by-2020-million-usd/

Opdivo Setback May Yield Lessons for Pharma Advancing Immunotherapies With PD-L1 Testing

https://www.genomeweb.com/molecular-diagnostics/opdivo-setback-may-yield-lessons-pharma-advancing-immunotherapies-pd-l1

UPDATED on 10/9/2016

Opdivo (nivolumab) Shows Durable Response in Longest Follow-up for a PD-1 Inhibitor in Previously Treated Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

BMY

Opdivo (nivolumab) Shows Durable Response in Longest Follow-up for a PD-1 Inhibitor in Previously Treated Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Updated data from CheckMate -057 and -017 show Opdivo-treated patients had tripled the duration of response compared to those treated with docetaxel, with a minimum follow-up of two years

In CheckMate -057, durable responses and complete responses were observed with Opdivo in both PD-L1 expressors and non-expressors

Patient-reported outcomes from CheckMate -057 show favorable overall health status with Opdivo versus docetaxel in previously treated advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) announced today updated results from two pivotal Phase 3 studies, CheckMate -057 and CheckMate -017, which showed more than one-third of previously treated metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients in both trials experienced ongoing responses with Opdivo, compared to no ongoing responses in the docetaxel arm. The median duration of response (DOR) with Opdivo versus docetaxel in CheckMate -057 was 17.2 months (95% CI: 8.4, NE) and 5.6 months (95% CI: 4.4, 6.9), respectively, and in CheckMate -017 it was 25.2 months (95% CI: 9.8, 30.4) and 8.4 months (95% CI: 8.4, NE), respectively. In CheckMate -057, patients with PD-L1 ≥1% had a median DOR of 17.2 months (95% CI: 8.4, NE) and in patients with PD-L1 <1%, it was 18.3 months (95% CI: 5.5, NE). In both studies, durability of response was observed in both PD-L1 expressors and non-expressors, and in CheckMate -057, one out of the four complete responses occurred in a patient with <1% PD-L1 expression.

There were no new safety signals identified for Opdivo in the pooled safety analysis from both studies. No new treatment-related deaths occurred between one and two years’ minimum follow-up despite the longer treatment exposure, and new events were observed in 11/418 patients with an additional one year of follow up.

These findings were presented today, October 9, during a poster discussion session at the 2016 European Society for Medical Oncology Congress from 3:46-4:06 p.m. CEST (Abstract #1215PD).

“Further evaluation of Opdivo in previously treated non-small cell lung cancer showed continued superior survival and the potential for durable responses compared to docetaxel across histologies in this patient population,” said Martin Reck, M.D., Ph.D., head of thoracic oncology at the Hospital Grosshansdorf. “Notably, the median duration of response with Opdivo was more than three times that observed with docetaxel.”

Read more at

http://www.stockhouse.com/news/press-releases/2016/10/09/opdivo-nivolumab-shows-durable-response-in-longest-follow-up-for-a-pd-1#QVs566rlK9JKSMC8.99

UPDATED on 9/25/2016

Genentech dives into mRNA, betting $310M on BioNTech’s personalized cancer vaccine tech

For a review of all the complexities involved in the emerging market for BioMarkers in Immuno-Therapy, see

Opdivo Setback May Yield Lessons for Pharma Advancing Immunotherapies With PD-L1 Testing

https://www.genomeweb.com/molecular-diagnostics/opdivo-setback-may-yield-lessons-pharma-advancing-immunotherapies-pd-l1

PD-L1 testing as part of the tumor profiling workup for patients. Diaceutics’ surveys show a sharp uptick in the number of labs offering PD-L1 testing over the past year-and-a-half and 52 labs in the US offer at least one PD-L1 test. The company also reviewed biomarkers being studied in 95 Phase II/III NSCLC, and found that approximately half are incorporating patients’ PD-L1 status either alone or in combination with other markers, such as EGFR and ALK mutations.

At Cancer Genetics over the past year, there has also been a notable ramp up in orders for PD-L1 testing for lung cancer patients, but also for melanoma and head and neck cancer patients.

Labs are also challenged by having to decide whether to invest in validating and offering all four FDA-approved PD-L1 tests. “If you look from a laboratory perspective, in the ideal world, you need one test, and clear instructions about the algorithm and cutoff values to assign patients to treatment,” Braendle said. “Four different tests creates quite a confusing situation for the labs and the physicians.”

SOURCES

Diaceutics Group Report Reveals Significant Real-Time PD-L1 Testing Gaps in the US

http://www.diaceutics.com/diaceutics-group-report-reveals-significant-real-time-pd-l1-testing-gaps-in-the-us-3/

 

Opdivo Setback May Yield Lessons for Pharma Advancing Immunotherapies With PD-L1 Testing

https://www.genomeweb.com/molecular-diagnostics/opdivo-setback-may-yield-lessons-pharma-advancing-immunotherapies-pd-l1

 

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