Multi-center trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of pelareorep-anti-PD-1 combination therapy in triple-negative breast cancer, an indication of continued unmet medical need
Study builds on prior clinical data showing pelareorep-induced priming of an adaptive immune response in multiple breast cancer subtypes
Systemic pelareorep administration has the potential to increase the number of patients that are eligible for checkpoint inhibitor therapy
SAN DIEGO and CALGARY, Alberta, June 25, 2020 /CNW/ -- Oncolytics Biotech® Inc. (NASDAQ:ONCY) (TSX:ONC), today announced a new investigator-sponsored triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) study to be managed by Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The phase 2 trial, known as IRENE, will investigate the use of pelareorep in combination with Incyte's anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor retifanlimab (INCMGA00012) in patients with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic TNBC.
"We are very excited to evaluate pelareorep in TNBC, as prior clinical data show it has the potential to address a pressing unmet need in this challenging indication," said principal investigator Mridula George, M.D., Medical Oncologist, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. "Checkpoint inhibitors targeting interactions between PD-L1 and PD-1, while commercially successful, are ineffective in up to 80% of TNBC patients. This is often due to an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. Checkpoint inhibitors are beneficial in patients who have upregulation of PD-L1 expression in the tumor environment. Clinical data show that systemic pelareorep administration can upregulate PD-L1 expression in tumors across multiple breast cancer subtypes, highlighting its potential to substantially increase the percentage of patients who respond to checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Through the IRENE study, we aim to explore how pelareorep-induced adaptive immune responses synergistically interact with PD-1 inhibition to improve patient outcomes in TNBC."
The newly announced IRENE study represents an expansion of Oncolytics' lead breast cancer program into a new disease subtype (TNBC). In addition to investigating the safety and efficacy of pelareorep-anti-PD-1 combination treatment in TNBC patients, the study will also evaluate changes in PD-L1 expression and correlations between treatment outcomes and peripheral T cell clonality, a previously identified biomarker of pelareorep response that may enable the success of future pivotal studies by facilitating the patient selection process. The trial will take place at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is co-sponsored by Oncolytics, the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and Incyte.