Israeli biopharmaceutical firm BioLineRx and Genentech have launched a Phase Ib/II clinical trial of BL-8040 and atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in patients suffering from gastric cancer.
BL-8040 is a short peptide with for targeting CXCR4 chemokine receptor associated with tumour progression, angiogenesis, metastasis and cell survival, while atezolizumab is Genentech’s anti-PDL1 immunotherapy agent.
The multi-centre, randomised, controlled, open-label Phase Ib/II trial will assess the safety, tolerability, clinical response and various pharmacodynamic parameters of the combination in around 40 subjects.
Patients will be initially administered with a priming monotherapy of BL-8040 injections, followed by the combination, and will undergo several treatment cycles for approximately two years.
The trial is part of ongoing clinical cancer immunotherapy collaboration formed in September last year between BioLineRx and Genentech to conduct various Phase Ib/II studies of the combination therapy for treating different types of cancer.
The collaboration forms part of Genentech’s MORPHEUS cancer immunotherapy development platform. The firms performed two prior oncology trials.
One trial started in July this year for pancreatic cancer and another commenced last month to treat acute myeloid leukaemia (AML).
BioLineRx CEO Philip Serlin said: “We are therefore hopeful that combining atezolizumab with BL-8040 can lead to a significant advancement in the treatment of gastric cancer, and of other solid tumours that are difficult to treat.
“BL-8040 has shown to induce robust mobilisation of immune cells, improve the infiltration of T cells into solid tumours, and affect the immunosuppressive tumour micro-environment.”