Clinical trials initiated for novel immunotherapy combo for ovarian cancer

pharmafile | April 7, 2016 | News story | Medical Communications, Research and Development MedImmune, cancer research institute, clinical trial, ludwig, ovarian cancer, ventirx 

A cross collaboration between industry and not-for-profit organisations will see Ludwig Cancer Research and the Cancer Research Institute partner with MedImmune and VentiRx Pharmaceuticals in clinical trials of a novel combination immunotherapy for ovarian cancer.

The international, multicentre Phase I/II trial is evaluating the combination of MedImmune’s investigational antibody cancer drug, durvalumab, a PD-L1 inhibitor, with VentiRx’s investigational TLR8 agonist motolimod added to chemotherapy in locally advanced or recurrent ovarian cancers.

The hope it that this combo will induce more potent and durable anti-tumour immune responses. The researchers expect that the motolimod’s activation of TLR8 will create conditions within tumours that are optimal to enhancing the effects of durvalumab.  Also, motolimod could boost immune responses against cancer cells that are not engaged by durvalumab by helping the immune system “see” cancer antigens.

Both treatments have been found to have acceptable safety profiles when used in isolation.

George Coukos, Ludwig Lausanne director, comments: “This study is a good example of what’s possible when researchers have access to new therapies and are permitted to test hypotheses supported by the most recent science. We are hopeful that the combined therapies we are testing in this trial will be of great benefit to ovarian cancer and other cancer patients.”

Jonathan Skipper, executive VP of technology development at Ludwig, says: “We are proud to be a part of this effort to bring investigational drugs being developed by different commercial partners to a single clinical trial and improve the standard of care for recurrent ovarian cancer, a disease for which patients today have few treatment options.”

Sean Murray

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