Seres Therapeutics has partnered with the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Centre and Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy to conduct a clinical study of microbiome therapy in patients with metastatic melanoma.
The collaboration is intended to assess the potential of Seres’ microbiome therapeutics to improve outcomes in patients undergoing existing immunotherapy for cancer.
Set to be conducted at MD Anderson and funded by the Parker Institute, the randomised, placebo-controlled study will investigate the combination of microbiome therapy and an anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor in advanced metastatic melanoma patients.
The study is based on previously obtained preclinical and clinical evidence regarding positive impact of microbiome properties on the response to checkpoint inhibitor therapy.
Seres Therapeutics president, CEO, and chairman Roger Pomerantz said: “We look forward to combining our insights and capabilities with both MD Anderson and the Parker Institute to advance microbiome therapies to augment Immunotherapy in cancer patients toward the clinic, with the ultimate goal of improving outcomes for patients facing life-threatening tumours with significant unmet medical need.”
Seres is developing oral microbiome therapy SER-401 with a rationally-designed consortium of live bacteria to improve the safety and efficacy of immunotherapy.
The firm also received an exclusive option from MD Anderson to license intellectual property rights associated with the use of bacteria in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.
MD Anderson Genomic Medicine and Surgical Oncology associate professor Jennifer Wargo said: “Immunotherapy has represented an important advance for melanoma and other cancers. However, in the majority of patients, the response is not adequate to durably control disease.
“Modulation of the microbiome is a promising approach that may improve the therapeutic benefit of checkpoint therapy.”