Pharma Focus Asia

Regeneron and Inovio Enter Immuno-Oncology Clinical Study Agreement for Glioblastoma Combination Therapy

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced a clinical study agreement for a Phase 1b/2a immuno-oncology trial. The study will be conducted by Inovio in patients with newly-diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and will evaluate Regeneron's PD-1 inhibitor, REGN2810, in combination with Inovio's INO-5401 T cell activating immunotherapy encoding multiple antigens and INO-9012, an immune activator encoding IL-12.

The open-label trial, which is expected to begin later this year, is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the combination therapy in approximately 50 patients. The study will be conducted at 30 U.S. sites and the primary endpoints are safety and tolerability. The study will also evaluate immunological impact, progression-free survival and overall survival.

GBM is a devastating disease for both patients and caregivers. It is the most aggressive brain cancer and its prognosis is extremely poor, despite a limited number of new therapies approved over the last ten years. The median overall survival for patients receiving standard of care therapy is approximately 15 months and the average five-year survival rate is less than three percent.

"The unmet need for effective therapies in GBM remains extremely high. Certain immune checkpoint inhibitors have shown efficacy in certain cancers, but evidence increasingly suggests that the benefit of checkpoint inhibitors can be enhanced when used in combination with therapies that generate T cells," said David Reardon, MD, Clinical Director of the Center for Neuro-Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "Inovio has an innovative immunotherapy platform which has shown the ability to generate antigen-specific T cells in disease areas including cancer. We look forward to exploring the potential of combining a T cell generating immunotherapy encoding multiple antigens with REGN2810, a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor."

Under the terms of the agreement, the trial will be solely conducted and funded by Inovio, based upon a mutually agreed upon study design, and Regeneron will supply REGN2810. Inovio and Regeneron will jointly conduct immunological analyses in support of the study. Regeneron, in collaboration with Sanofi, is developing REGN2810 both alone and in combination with other therapies for the treatment of various cancers.

"Regeneron's approach to oncology includes evaluating the combination of innovative therapies that act on diverse pathways and targets," said Israel Lowy, MD, PhD, Vice President of Translation Sciences and Oncology, Regeneron. "Using our PD-1 inhibitor as a therapeutic backbone alongside Inovio's T cell-generating therapies offers a new path for exploration and heightens the potential to develop new, desperately-needed treatment options for patients."

"I am a strong believer in this combination regimen approach in immuno-oncology: use Inovio immunotherapies to generate killer T-cells to turn 'cold' tumors into 'hot' tumors, then block T cell suppression via checkpoint inhibition," said J. Joseph Kim, PhD, Inovio's President and Chief Executive Officer. "This step with INO-5401 is very important for us in 2017, as we believe INO-5401 has the potential to be a powerful cancer immunotherapeutic in combination with promising checkpoint inhibitors such as Regeneron's REGN2810, and we look forward to investigating its potential for GBM and multiple other challenging cancers."

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