A clinical trial designed to assess the safety and efficacy of ONCOS-102, an immuno-oncology therapy, when administered in combination with chemotherapy drugs, is currently recruiting mesothelioma patients. The researchers hope that the immunotherapy drug, when combined with two cancer drugs, may be the next breakthrough treatment for mesothelioma patients.
In a Nov. 10 press release from Targovax, makers of the anti-cancer treatment, the company announced it has received a European patent for the drug, after receiving a patent in May from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The U.S. patent “relates to methods of producing GM-CSF in a cell and increasing tumor specific immune response in a subject.” Both of the patents expire in 2029, and were established to protect Targovax from other pharmaceuticals producing a similar product.
“The US and Europe are expected to be the largest markets for immuno-oncology products, the most rapidly growing segment for the development of innovative cancer treatments,” said Jon Amund Eriksen, Chief Technology Innovation Officer and Co-founder of Targovax.
Immuno-oncology treatments work to utilize the body’s adaptive immune defense against cancer’s ability to grow and resist traditional anti-cancer medicines. Survival for mesothelioma is often less than 18 months, however, recent breakthroughs in
immunotherapy treatments are increasing survival and bringing hope to the mesothelioma community.
The clinical trial, being conducted at the Hospital Universitario Quirón in Barcelona, Spain, begins with a Phase 1b trial of a cohort of six patients who will first receive ONCOS-102 with pemetrexed/cisplatin. The Standard of Care for Pleural Mesothelioma is the combination therapy of pemetrexed and cisplatin.
Upon successful completion of the lead-in Phase 1b trial, the next cohort of 24 patients will comprise the Phase II trial. Fourteen of the patients will be treated with ONCOS -102 and pemetrexed/cisplatin, with the other 10 receiving the chemotherapy only.
Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer caused by past asbestos exposure found in the outer lining of the lungs called the mesothelium. Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, it can be treated with varying degrees of success through the use of surgical procedures, chemotherapy and radiation. Chemotherapy is considered the most effective single modality for the treatment of mesothelioma and is likely to be the most commonly deployed treatment as well.