SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- MultiVir Inc. presented updated data at the annual ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium demonstrating the ability of its immune gene therapies to reverse resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are approved therapies for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma. While immune checkpoint inhibitors represent a breakthrough cancer treatment, clinical data from multiple studies indicate that the majority of patients do not respond to this therapy.
We evaluated the ability of MultiVir's immune gene therapies to reverse immune checkpoint inhibitor resistance in a murine melanoma model known to be highly resistant to immunotherapy.
MultiVir's immune gene therapy candidates employ genetically engineered adenoviruses to deliver therapeutic genes into tumors. Adenoviral p53 (Ad-p53) is a replication impaired adenovirus encoding expression of the p53 tumor suppressor gene that activates multiple immune stimulating genes. Ad-Relaxin delivers the relaxin gene that degrades fibrous barriers made by tumors which block tumor exposure to therapeutic agents.
In this investigation, tumors were first treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors termed anti-PD-1. The tumors were shown to be resistant to this treatment. In contrast, tumor treatment with Ad-p53 or Ad-Relaxin combined with anti-PD-1 reversed anti-PD-1 resistance demonstrating synergistic decreases in tumor size and increased survival.
"These data indicate the importance of restoring p53 tumor suppressor function in generating anti-tumor immune responses and the ability of Ad-Relaxin to complement immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy. MultiVir's immune gene therapies were able to reverse resistance to this widely used cancer treatment," said Dr. Sunil Chada, MultiVir's Chief Scientific Officer.
Dr. Robert E. Sobol, MultiVir's CEO stated, "These findings support our ongoing clinical evaluation of combined tumor suppressor Ad-p53 and immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy to reverse anti-PD-1 resistance and potentially expand the number of patients who may benefit from cancer immunotherapies."
MultiVir is conducting a clinical trial of its Ad-p53 tumor suppressor therapy in combination with anti-PD-1 in cancer patients with recurrent tumors that have progressed on standard treatments.
About MultiVir's Tumor Suppressor Immune Gene Therapies
MultiVir's product candidates have unique therapeutic activities with multiple mechanisms of action. MultiVir's tumor suppressor gene therapies have the ability to inhibit tumor growth, kill cancerous cells, enhance anti-tumor immunity, decrease tumor blood supply, and the potential to sensitize tumors to conventional immunotherapy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. In clinical trials to date, the products have been generally well-tolerated, with only transient adverse effects.
About MultiVir Inc.
MultiVir is a clinical stage immune oncology company pioneering a new field of cancer therapeutics termed tumor suppressor immune gene therapy employing multiple viral delivery platforms. MultiVir's oncology products deliver tumor suppressor and immunotherapeutic genes. The company's broad technology platforms target cancers' most fundamental and common molecular defects.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, which are generally statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements made herein are based on management's current plans, estimates, assumptions and projections, and speak only as of the date they are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement in light of new information or future events, except as otherwise required by law. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, most of which are difficult to predict. The actual results may differ materially from those contained in our projections or forward-looking statements.
Nicholas Puro, JD
SOURCE MultiVir Inc.