ALX Oncology has dosed the first patient in its Phase II investigator-sponsored clinical trial of evorpacept for the treatment of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.

A next generation CD47 blocker, evorpacept is evaluated in combination with liposomal doxorubicin along with Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab).

The open-label, single-arm study was initiated at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in the US.

It is led by Dr Haider Mahdi of the UPMC Magee-Womens Research Institute .

He also works at the University of Pittsburgh as an assistant professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences department.

Mahdi said: “Ovarian cancer patients who develop platinum-resistant disease have poor prognosis, and are in desperate need for new treatment options that are safe and effective.

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“From a mechanistic standpoint, CD47 blockade has been shown to complement chemotherapeutic agents and immune checkpoint inhibitors.

“We anticipate that the combination of evorpacept, liposomal doxorubicin and pembrolizumab may lead to improved efficacy and a more favourable benefit-risk profile.”

ALX Oncology has gained global marketing rights for evorpacept and intends to expand its treatment in multiple solid tumour indications and haematologic malignancies.

Last month, ALX Oncology signed a clinical trial partnership with Sanofi to investigate the safety, efficacy, pharmacokinetics and biomarker data of evorpacept plus SARCLISA and dexamethasone.