Cancer charity Myeloma UK and biotechnolgy firm Oncolytics Biotech have commenced a Phase Ib MUK eleven trial of Reolysin (pelareorep) in combination with Imnovid (pomalidomide) or Revlimid (lenalidomide) to treat patients with relapsing myeloma.
Reolysin is Oncolytics' proprietary variant of the respiratory enteric orphan virus (reovirus), while Imnovid and Revlimid are Celgene's immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs).
The dose escalation Phase Ib trial will evaluate the safety and tolerability of the combinations in patients whose myeloma is progressing while on these IMiD treatments.
Oncolytics president and chief executive officer Dr Matt Coffey said: "This is an important collaboration for Oncolytics, as testing IMiD combinations with Reolysin is one of the three pillars of our clinical development plan.
"We are eager to find out if Reolysin can enhance the benefits of these immune modulators and we are excited to start working with Myeloma UK and Celgene."
Pre-clinical studies by the trial's chief investigator Gordon Cook showed that Reolysin has dual modes of action against multiple myeloma, as it is both cytotoxic and induces immune effector cells to target and kill cancer cells.
Cook said: "This trial, the first of its kind, is a novel way of activating a patient's own immune system to target their myeloma (immunotherapy) using a natural virus and lenalidomide or pomalidomide, which could offer a new treatment strategy in myeloma."
A part of the Myeloma UK clinical trial network, the MUK eleven trial will enrol 44 patients across approximately six centres in the country.
The trial will also assess the ability of Reolysin to extend disease control in this patient group.