Finnish biotechnology company TILT Biotherapeutics has announced results from a Phase I clinical trial of TILT-123 alongside Merck & Co’s KEYTRUDA for platinum-resistant or refractory ovarian cancer.

TILT-123 is an oncolytic adenovirus featuring tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) and interleukin-2 (IL-2).

It has been designed to boost the efficacy of T-cell therapies, including immune checkpoint blockade or adoptive cell transfer.

The trial data demonstrated safety and disease control in a challenging patient group.

It enrolled 15 patients, with 14 evaluable for response and 64.3% of the evaluable patients achieving disease control.

TILT-123 showed its ability to induce T-cell responses in both injected and non-injected tumours.

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Patients exhibited a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 105 days and overall survival (OS) of 280 days.

Those with stable disease on day 92 had a median PFS of 174 days and OS of 293 days.

Further insights from three Phase I trials highlighted that the intravenous (IV) delivery of TILT-123 led to systemic tumour transduction and lymphocyte accumulation at tumour sites.

This indicates that the drug could reach and affect tumours without direct injection and can persist in the bloodstream for up to seven days.

Tumour transduction was observed in 75% of patients on day eight after systemic administration of TILT-123 across the three trials.

TILT Biotherapeutics founder and CEO Akseli Hemminki said: “This data presented at ASCO 2024 provides additional validation as we move forward in our clinical trials for patients with resistant or refractory ovarian cancer that have few other treatment options.”

TILT Biotherapeutics will present these findings at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting 2024, which is taking place from 31 May to 4 June in Chicago, Illinois.

Based in Helsinki, the company works to design next-generation oncolytic immunotherapies to treat various types of cancer.