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Genexine and NeoImmuneTech signs an agreement for a collaboration with a global leading pharmaceutical company for a combination trial of Hyleukin-7 a…
NeoImmuneTech (NIT), an immunotherapy drug development company focused on advanced cancer treatments, and its parent company Genexine, have entered into an agreement with Roche to enable studies of a combination treatment in three advanced high-risk skin cancer types: melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.
The phase 1b/2a immuno-oncology trial will evaluate the combination of HyLeukin-7 (IL-7-hyFc) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq), and will be led by NIT and the Immune Oncology Network (ION), a network of investigators from the foremost cancer centers and universities in North America that conducts multicenter trial of high priority immunotherapy agents. The purpose of this study is to evaluate safety and anti-tumor activity of HyLeukin-7 in combination with Tecentriq in approximately 70 patients with anti-PD-(L)1 naïve or refractory high-risk skin cancers. The planned multi-center open-label trial is anticipated to start in the second half of 2018 and will be conducted in the US and possibly additional countries.
“We are very excited to collaborate with Roche, a global leader in immuno-oncology, and with key opinion leaders from the ION, to advance the development of HyLeukin-7 and analyze its synergy with immune-checkpoint inhibitors,” said NeoImmuneTech Chief Executive Officer Se Hwan Yang, Ph.D. “We believe that this combination regimen will deliver a strong dual effect over cancer by both increasing the numbers of T cells and eliminating cancer cells’ escape route.”
Patients with advanced high-risk skin cancers have poor prognosis and limited treatment options, as PD-(L)1 blockade fails to induce complete responses in most patients, especially those with low tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) counts. The trial aims to study HyLeukin-7’s effect on the efficacy of Tecentriq by enhanced antitumor T-cell immunity and increased TIL count.
“HyLeukin-7 has shown in multiple studies to substantially increase the total body complement of T cells with little toxicity. HyLeukin-7 is designed to be effective when used in concert with a variety of different immunotherapy regimens, including the combination with anti-PD-(L)1 that is being tested in this trial,” said Martin A. “Mac” Cheever, MD, Director of the Immune Oncology Network, which is based at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He is also director of the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network.
TECENTRIQ® (atezolizumab) is a registered trademark of Genentech, a member of the Roche Group.