DNAtrix has announced that the first patients have been treated in a multicentre Phase 2 trial investigating its oncolytic adenovirus, DNX-2401, in combination with KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab), Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, in patients suffering with recurrent glioblastoma.
The CAPTIVE study is analysing the potential impact of DNX-2401 and KEYTRUDA in patients with recurrent glioblastoma, a disease for which there is neither a cure nor enough treatment.
Leading medical centres in the US and Canada are taking part in the study.
DNX-2401 is a conditionally replicative oncolytic adenovirus targeting and killing cancer cells, whilst leaving normal cells intact.
Several clinical studies have indicated that DNX-2401 has a favourable safety profile, strong tumour-killing potential and can trigger an anti-tumour immune response.
KEYTRUDA is a humanised monoclonal antibody that blocks the interaction between PD-1 (programmed death receptor-1) and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2.
This activity boosts the T-cell response and leads to effective tumour destruction.
KEYTRUDA is currently approved in the US for advanced melanoma, metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and advanced head and neck squamous cell cancer (HNSCC).
DNAtrix CEO Frank Tufaro said: “Glioblastoma is a difficult disease to treat with conventional therapies.
“Based on remarkable preclinical data, we anticipate that the addition of KEYTRUDA to DNX-2401 therapy will provide even more benefit to patients with recurrent disease.”
DNAtrix is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing virus-driven immunotherapies for cancer.
Image: MRI suggesting glioblastoma in a 15-year-old boy. Photo: courtesy of Christaras A / Wikipedia