October’s top news stories

7th November 2017 (Last Updated November 7th, 2017 12:48)

Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) initiative launched ten SU2C Catalyst clinical trial projects, while Myeloma UK initiated an MUK nine clinical trial using genetic techniques to stratify therapy for high-risk myeloma patients. Drugdevelopment-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from October 2017.

Stand Up To Cancer initiates ten clinical trial projects for oncology

Entertainment Industry Foundation’s (EIF) Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) initiative launched ten SU2C Catalyst clinical trial projects for the treatment of different types of the disease.

The projects will involve researchers from more than 30 organisations for performing correlated translational research to obtain better insights into the efficacy of cancer treatments.

Additionally, the projects will investigate new uses of medicines from three SU2C Catalyst Charter Supporters and six additional pharmaceutical firms.


Myeloma UK initiates MUK nine clinical trial for myeloma

Non-profit organisation Myeloma UK initiated an MUK nine clinical trial that will use genetic techniques to stratify therapy for high-risk myeloma patients in the country.

Designed to focus on the sub-group of patients in urgent need for better outcomes, the trial will identify potentially the best treatment for these patients.

The two-part trial will provide access to diagnostics and genetic profiling developed at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London through research partly funded by Myeloma UK.


NIH reports positive final data from Ebola vaccine trial in Africa

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US reported positive final results from a clinical trial of two Ebola vaccine candidates, cAd3-EBOZ and rVSV-ZEBOV, performed in Liberia, Africa.

cAd3-EBOZ was co-developed by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Vaccine Research Centre and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), while rVSV-ZEBOV was initially engineered by the Public Health Agency of Canada scientists and later licensed to Merck.

The results showed that the vaccines do not have safety concerns and could induce year-long immune responses by one month from initial vaccination.


SELLAS and Merck to begin Phase I/II cancer combination clinical trial

Biopharmaceutical firm SELLAS Life Sciences Group entered a clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with Merck to conduct a combination clinical trial targeting multiple cancer types.

As part of the deal, a Phase I/II combination clinical trial will be initiated to evaluate SELLAS’ Wilms tumour-1 (WT1) targeting peptide immunotherapeutic agent, galinpepimut-S, with Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) in patients with five cancer indications, including both hematologic malignancies and solid tumours.

The trial is designed to determine if the administration of galinpepimut-S in combination with KEYTRUDA has the potential to show clinical activity in the presence of macroscopic disease, where monotherapy with either agent would have a more limited effect.


Halozyme begins PEGPH20 dosing in Phase Ib/II trial for gastric cancer

Halozyme Therapeutics started dosing patients with gastric cancer in a Phase Ib/II clinical trial of its investigational new drug PEGPH20 combined with atezolizumab (Tecentriq).

PEGPH20 is a PEGylated form of the firm’s recombinant human hyaluronidase, while atezolizumab is Genentech’s anti-PDL1 cancer immunotherapy.

Being developed as an enzyme, PEGPH20 could temporarily degrade HA component in the tumour microenvironment that might constrict blood vessels upon accumulation.


Genmab and Seattle Genetics to perform Phase II trial for cervical cancer

Genmab and Seattle Genetics collaborated to evaluate tisotumab vedotin in a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of patients suffering from recurrent and/or metastatic cervical cancer.

Tisotumab vedotin comprises Genmab’s human antibody antibody that targets tissue factor (TF) along with Seattle Genetics’ antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology that includes a cleavable linker and cytotoxic drug, monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE).

The single arm, multi-centre Phase II trial is designed to enrol approximately 100 patients who relapsed or progressed following standard of care treatment with platinum containing chemotherapy and bevacizumab.


Boehringer to study new immunotherapy in Phase I oncology trial

Boehringer Ingelheim expanded its strategic partnership with Sarah Cannon Research Institute to investigate BI 891065 in a Phase I clinical trial to treat patients with solid tumours.

BI 891065 is a potent small molecule SMAC mimetic being developed to stimulate cell death of tumours and activate immune system to potentially enhance the immunotherapy activity.

The Phase I trial will evaluate BI 891065 as monotherapy and combination therapy with an anti-PD-1 cancer treatment, BI 754091, for advanced metastatic tumours and will enrol around 100 subjects.


Transgene begins dosing in Phase I/IIa glioblastoma trial

Transgene started dosing patients with recurrent glioblastoma in a Phase I/IIa clinical trial conducted to evaluate its oncolytic virus TG6002.

Being developed as an intravenous formulation, TG6002 is said to have various functions and a dual mechanism of action to improve anti-tumour selectivity and activity.

TG6002 is designed to combine oncolysis by tumour-selective viral replication with local delivery through the production of 5-FU chemotherapy agent in the tumour.


Biogen launches Phase II multiple sclerosis trial of opicinumab

Biogen launched the Phase II AFFINITY clinical trial of its investigational candidate opicinumab in patients suffering from relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS).

Opicinumab is a human monoclonal antibody designed to target leucine rich repeat and immunoglobin-like domain-containing protein 1 (LINGO-1).

The multi-centre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II trial will assess opicinumab in 240 patients who are adequately controlled with anti-inflammatory disease-modifying therapy (DMT).


Biohaven to evaluate trigriluzole in Phase II/III trial for OCD

US-based Biohaven Pharmaceutical prepared to initiate a Phase II/III clinical trial of its product candidate trigriluzole for the treatment of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

The firm has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its investigational new drug (IND) application to start clinical investigations of the candidate for OCD.

Being a substrate for the gut transporters (PepT1), trigriluzole is a glutamate modulator designed to improve bioavailability.