Investigational ImmunoGen drug gives hope against platinum-resistant ovarian cancer

pharmafile | April 20, 2017 | News story | Research and Development Cancer, Immunogen, ovarian cancer 

Research from GlobalData has suggested that an investigational drug from ImmunoGen could prove effective in treating platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, an area of significant unmet need with limited effective treatment options.

An antibody drug conjugate, mirvetuximab soravtansine targets folate receptor alpha-expressing cells and kills them through cytotoxicity. Marc Hansel, Senior Healthcare Analyst for GlobalData, explained the strength of the therapy: “Unlike previous FRA antibodies, ImmunoGen’s asset doesn’t solely rely on a patient’s immune system to kill cancer cells. This small detail is important, especially in heavily-treated patients whose immune systems can be compromised due to previous drug treatments and their overall health status.”

He added: “Furthermore, the FRA pathway is not important for ovarian cancer cell survival, so even if it is blocked, the cancer still grows.”

While the treatment can prove effective as a single therapy, ImmunoGen reportedly plan to compound its effectiveness by utilising it in combination with other treatments including Roche and Genentech’s Avastin, MSD’s Keytruda, standard-of-care chemotherapy carboplatin, and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin.

“The future is bright for ImmunoGen’s novel antibody-drug conjugate, which could solve a major problem for platinum-resistant recurrent ovarian cancer patients. It could also represent a major victory for the precision medicine movement,” Hansel concluded.

Matt Fellows

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