NEW YORK, April 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientists from Gothenburg University, Sweden will report data today at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, on an immune mechanism-based biomarker to predict the potential efficacy of treatment with Ceplene® in the difficult-to-treat above 60 year old population with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Ceplene, in combination with low-dose Interleukin-2 (IL-2), is currently approved but not actively marketed in over 30 countries in Europe and Israel for the treatment of AML for maintenance of remission and prevention of disease relapse, an indication for which there are no other approved therapies.
Since the previous Ceplene/IL-2 phase III trial, which demonstrated an almost 50% improvement in 2 year leukemia free survival (LFS) in the overall population treated with Ceplene immunotherapy, a great deal has been learned about the biology of Ceplene® based immune-regulation. In AML, histamine H2 Receptors (H2R) are predominantly expressed on FAB subtypes with monocytic differentiation, namely M4 and M5. In these subtypes, the binding of histamine to the H2R results in down-regulation of NOX2 with resultant decreased production of Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and subsequent protection of deleterious immune cells from deactivation and death. When combined with low dose IL-2, Ceplene allows for the activation of the T and Natural Killer (NK) cells toward a tumor killing effect.
In the Phase IV international study, which will be presented at the AACR Annual Meeting today, a reduction in the frequency of CD8+ T effector memory (TEM) cells during the first cycle of HDC/IL-2 prognosticated LFS (HR 0.25, P=0.001) and OS (HR 0.24, P=0.009). Similarly, induction of T effector cells (Teff) during cycle 1 impacted favorably on outcome (P=0.048 for OS). Patients with a concomitant reduction of TEM cells and induction of Teff cells during immunotherapy showed an even more favorable outcome in terms of LFS (HR 0.19, P=0.001) and OS (HR 0.13, P=0.008). Thus, the altered distribution of cytotoxic T cells during treatment with HDC/IL-2 significantly prognosticated LFS and OS especially within the group of elderly patients (above 60 years of age), providing a potential personalized approach for treating the more therapy-resistant older AML patient population, in addition to selection of the population most likely to benefit by FAB subtype.
Miri Ben-Ami, MD, President, Immune Oncology Pharmaceuticals Inc. stated, "We believe that the new data may allow a personalized approach to selection of patients who are most likely to benefit from Ceplene/IL-2 treatment in AML, in particular the older patient population who have demonstrated almost 100% survival when positive for the T-cell transition biomarkers." Dr. Ben-Ami continued, "In addition, current research is revealing the potential synergy between immune checkpoint inhibitors and Ceplene, which could open the possibility of additional therapeutic indications for this combination."
About Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc.:
Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: IMNP) applies a personalized approach to treating and developing novel, highly targeted antibody therapeutics to improve the lives of patients with inflammatory diseases and cancer. Immune's lead product candidate, bertilimumab, is in Phase II clinical development for moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis as well as for bullous pemphigoid, an orphan autoimmune dermatological condition. Other indications being considered for development include atopic dermatitis, Crohn's disease, severe asthma and NASH (an inflammatory liver disease). Immune recently expanded its portfolio in immuno-dermatology with topical nano-formulated cyclosporine-A for the treatment of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Immune's oncology pipeline includes Ceplene/IL-2 approved in Europe and Israel for maintenance remission in AML, Azixa and crolibulin, Phase II-ready vascular disrupting agents, and novel technology platforms; bispecific antibodies and targeted nanotherapeutics, NanomAbs. Immune's additional pipeline includes AmiKet Nano™, a late clinical stage drug candidate for the treatment of neuropathic pain. For more information, visit Immune's website at www.immunepharmaceuticals.com, the content of which is not a part of this press release.
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