BioNTech Publishes Data from mRNA-based BNT111 FixVac Melanoma Trial in Nature; Shows Efficacy Analysis in Subset of 42 Cpi-experienced Metastatic Melanoma Patients Shows That BNT111 Mediates Durable Responses
BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) announced today the publication of interim Phase 1 data for the Company's FixVac cancer vaccine program BNT111 in the journal Nature.
Benzinga · -
BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) announced today the publication of interim Phase 1 data for the Company's FixVac cancer vaccine program BNT111 in the journal Nature. The Lipo-MERIT trial is a multicenter, open-label, dose-escalation Phase 1 trial (NCT02410733) to evaluate safety and tolerability of vaccinated patients with stage IIIB-C and stage IV melanoma. The publication titled "An RNA vaccine drives immunity in checkpoint-inhibitor-treated melanoma" summarizes the findings of an exploratory interim analysis (data extraction date July 29, 2019). Safety assessment was performed in 89 advanced melanoma patients treated with intravenously delivered repeated doses of mRNA-based cancer vaccine BNT111 ranging from 7.2µg to 400µg. Overall, BNT111 treatment was well tolerated with no dose limiting toxicity. Most common adverse events were mild to moderate, transient flu-like symptoms, such as pyrexia and chills. Assessment of blood cytokines showed transient upregulation of cytokines such as Interferon-alpha (IFNa), Interferon-gamma (IFNγ) and Interleukin-12 (IL12) in line with a toll-like-receptor (TLR)-mediated antiviral immune modulation critical for expansion of Th1 type antigen-specific T cells. Efficacy was evaluated in a subset of 42 checkpoint-inhibitor (CPI)-experienced patients with radiologically evaluable melanoma assessed by imaging of metastatic lesions before and after vaccination. At the data extraction date, three patients out of 25 patients in the BNT111 monotherapy group experienced a partial response, seven patients showed stable disease and one patient showed a complete metabolic remission of metastatic lesions. Of the 17 patients treated with the combination of BNT111 with anti-PD-1, six patients developed a partial response. Treatment with BNT111 resulted in the expansion and activation of circulating tumor-antigen-specific T cells with memory-function that exhibited strong cytotoxic activity against tumor cells. Vaccine-induced T cells displayed a Th1 phenotype which is of importance for cell-mediated immune responses such as activation of antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells. This interim data shows that BNT111 alone and in combination with PD-1 checkpoint blockade, while being well tolerated, mediates durable objective responses in melanoma patients that had progressed after prior checkpoint blockade. Vaccine-induced antigen-specific memory Tcells persisted for more than one year under continuous monthly vaccination. BNT111 is composed of four melanoma antigens (NY-ESO-1, MAGE-A3, tyrosinase, and TPTE) and is the most advanced of five clinical-stage FixVac product candidates within BioNTech's broader development pipeline. The FixVac platform is an off-the-shelf mRNA immunotherapy approach that targets a fixed combination of shared non-mutated tumor-associated antigens specific to each cancer type. Further FixVac cancer vaccine candidates are currently investigated in Phase 1 clinical trials for prostate cancer (BNT112) (Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier NCT04382898), HPV16-positive cancers (BNT113) (Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier NCT03418480), triple negative breast cancer (BNT114) (Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier NCT02316457) and ovarian cancer (BNT115) (Clinicaltrials.gov Identifier NCT04163094).