Imugene Vaxinia MAST trial clears cohort 3 of monotherapy dose escalation study

Go to Imelda Cotton author's page
By Imelda Cotton - 
Imugene ASX IMU Vaxinia MAST trial clears cohort 3 intratumoral monotherapy dose escalation study

Clinical stage immuno-oncology company Imugene (ASX: IMU) has announced that a Phase 1 MAST (metastatic advanced solid tumours) trial evaluating the safety of novel cancer-killing virus CF33-hNIS (Vaxinia) has cleared the cohort 3 intratumoral (IT) arm of a monotherapy dose escalation study.

The clearance allows Imugene to commence recruitment for IT cohort 4 of the monotherapy dose escalation, whereby Vaxinia will be administered in up to six patients.

The multi-centre Phase 1 MAST trial commenced by delivering a low dose of Vaxinia to patients with metastatic or advanced solid tumours who have had at least two prior cycles of standard-of-care treatment.

It aims to recruit up to 100 patients across 10 trial sites in the US and Australia and run for 24 months while being funded from existing budgets and resources.

Completing the trial

Imugene chief executive officer Leslie Chong said the company was keen to complete the trial.

“We continue to rapidly advance our monotherapy dose while the combination study continues its positive progress,” she said.

“We remain incredibly eager to bring the results of this trial to our shareholders, patients and the wider public.”

Oncolytic virus

The oncolytic Vaxinia virus was developed by researchers at the US-based City of Hope treatment centre and has been shown to shrink colon, lung, breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer tumours in pre-clinical laboratory and animal models.

Oncolytic viruses are designed to selectively kill tumour cells and activate the immune system against cancer cells, with potential to improve clinical response and survival.

The technology will be featured at an annual meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer to be held in San Diego in November.

Considered to be one of the most prestigious immunotherapy events on the calendar, it features cutting-edge research talks by various experts; oral and poster abstract presentations; and opportunities for networking and discussion with members of the oncology community.

In July, Imugene was granted a patent to protect oncolytic virotherapy CF33, including Vaxinia and CheckVacc (CF33-hNIS-antiPDL1), in the US.