Biotech immunotherapy company Imugene [ASX:IMU] rose more than 10% on Wednesday after releasing an update about its oncolytic virotherapy candidate.
Despite rising 30% this month, IMU shares are still down 25% year-to-date.
First patient dosed in oncolytic virotherapy clinical trial
Imugene has updated the market about its Phase I clinical trial of its oncolytic virotherapy candidate, CHECKvacc.
The first of its patients has now been dosed.
The Phase 1 trial is recruiting patients with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).
TNBC is an aggressive form of breast cancer that affects around 20% of breast cancer patients, with an average survival rate of 12 months.
Imugene shared that this study is geared towards initial evidence-gathering and focuses on safety for administration of the intra-tumoural vaccine (CF33-hNIS-antiPDL1) against TNBC.
Following the first dose reported today, there’ll be an acceleration of doses to come, with recruitment underway for more patients.
With all being well for the first patient, the trial will expand to 12 patients by the final dose stage, and Phase 2 (RP2D) will begin.
What does the vaccine actually do?
The company said that CHECKvacc is an ‘immune checkpoint inhibitor’, a vaccine with ‘robust anti-cancer activity’ developed by Professor Yuman Fong, City of Hope’s expert on the oncolytic virus.
As Imugene explains:
‘Oncolytic viruses (OVs) are designed to both selectively kill tumour cells and activate the immune system against cancer cells, with the potential to improve clinical response and survival.’
Imugene management commentary
Imugene’s CEO Leslie Chong commented on the trial:
‘We are pleased with the continued progress being made in this trial as we dose the first patient in cohort 3. From cohorts 1 & 2 we’ve continued to see early positive results in oncolytic virus infection and replication in the TNBC tumours and importantly there remains no observed toxicity.
‘CHECKvacc has the potential to improve clinical response and survival in this indication where there are currently no meaningful treatments, and we are eager to deliver on that.’
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