The combination of both investigational immunotherapeutic agents, which have different but complementary mechanisms directed at enhancing the body's own immune defenses, may provide unique synergies in fighting cancer.
"There's a growing body of evidence and enthusiasm in the field of oncology to combine therapeutic agents with different mechanisms that may result in very powerful approaches to treating tough cancers," said
The Phase 1/2 trial, which is being funded equally between the two companies, is designed to test combinations of CRS-207 with two dose levels of epacadostat in dose escalation and then will expand to a Phase 2 evaluating the combination at the optimal dose level compared to CRS-207 alone based on safety and tumor biomarkers. The study plans to enroll up to 40 patients in Phase 1 and up to 86 patients in Phase 2 with platinum-resistant ovarian, fallopian or peritoneal cancers. The trial is expected to begin enrolling patients in early 2016.
Under the terms of the collaboration, Aduro and
Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) is an immunosuppressive enzyme that has been shown to induce regulatory T cell generation and activation, and allow tumors to escape immune surveillance. Epacadostat is an orally bioavailable small molecule inhibitor of IDO1 that has nanomolar potency in both biochemical and cellular assays and has demonstrated potent activity in enhancing T lymphocyte, dendritic cell and natural killer cell responses in vitro, with a high degree of selectivity. Epacadostat has shown proof-of-concept clinical data in patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma in combination with the CTLA-4 inhibitor ipilimumab, and is currently in four proof-of-concept clinical trials with PD-1 and PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitors in a variety of cancer types.
CRS-207 is one of a family of product candidates based on Aduro's live-attenuated, double-deleted (LADD) Listeria monocytogenes immuno-oncology platform that are designed to induce potent innate and adaptive immune responses. CRS-207 has been engineered to express the tumor-associated antigen mesothelin, which is over-expressed in many cancers including mesothelioma and pancreatic, non-small cell lung, ovarian and gastric cancers.
Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding our intentions or current expectations concerning, among other things, the potential for CRS-207 in combination with epacadostat and the potential for eventual regulatory approval, commercialization and launch of our product candidates. In some cases you can identify these statements by forward-looking words such as "believe," "may," "will," "estimate," "continue," "anticipate," "intend," "could," "would," "project," "plan," "expect" or the negative or plural of these words or similar expressions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those anticipated, including, but not limited to, our history of net operating losses and uncertainty regarding our ability to achieve profitability, our ability to develop and commercialize our product candidates, our ability to use and expand our technology platforms to build a pipeline of product candidates, our dependence on our lead product candidate, CRS-207, and GVAX Pancreas, our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of our product candidates, our inability to operate in a competitive industry and compete successfully against competitors that have greater resources than we do, our reliance on third parties, and our ability to obtain and adequately protect intellectual property rights for our product candidates. We discuss many of these risks in greater detail under the heading "Risk Factors" contained in the most recent Form 10-Q which is on file with the
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