Immune responses in women with advanced ovarian cancer being treated with DPX-Survivac in clinical trials continue to support the immunotherapy’s potential, alone or in combination, to be effective in this patient population.
DPX-Survivac, developed by IMV, is being seen to elicit significant anti-tumor responses in these ovarian cancer patients. It works by inducing strong and sustained survivin-specific immune T-cells, and increasing the infiltration of such cells into tumors.
These findings were highlighted in the poster, “DPX-Survivac, a novel T-cell immunotherapy, to induce robust T-cell responses in advanced ovarian cancer,” presented at the ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium, held on Feb. 6-8 in Orlando. Results were presented by Oliver Dorigo, MD, PhD, a professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Stanford University Medical Center.
“These translational data continue to validate the mechanism of action of our lead program in advanced ovarian cancer,” Frederic Ors, president, and CEO at IMV, said in a press release.
“We continue to believe DPX-Survivac may offer significant clinical utility and a potentially meaningful treatment option for patients in this setting, as well as in other hard-to-treat indications in which survivin is highly expressed. We look forward to reporting topline results from our Phase 1b/2 study … in the first quarter of 2020,” Ors added.
DPX-Survivac is a new class of experimental T-cell immunotherapy designed to stimulate the immune system to target and destroy cancer cells. The treatment is specifically engineered to target a protein called survivin, which is present in dozens of solid and blood cancers and promotes cancer resistance to chemotherapy.
Given as injections under the skin, the therapy is intended to induce a long-lasting activation of tumor-killing T-cells against survivin-expressing cancers. This is expected to elicit a sustained and robust anti-tumor immune response and lead to lasting tumor regressions, IMV states in the release.
During the studies, women with advanced stage ovarian, fallopian or peritoneal cancer, sensitive or resistant to platinum chemotherapy, were treated with injections of DPX-Survivac, alone or in combination with other treatments.
Pre- and post-treatment tumor samples collected from 37 patients show that a better anti-tumor response was related to increased infiltration of T-cells into tumors following treatment with DPX-Survivac.
Survivin-specific T-cells were found surrounding the tumors after treatment with DPX-Survivac, which also increased signs of T-cell activation, including tumor-killing and other immunological markers.
DPX-Survivac also proved able to generate survivin-specific T-cells in the blood of 80% of the patients sampled.
“Importantly, the antigen-specific T cells retain their functionality throughout the duration of treatment,” the researchers concluded.
DPX-Survivac continues to be evaluated in other Phase 2 studies for advanced ovarian cancer (NCT03029403), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (a type of blood cancer) and five solid tumors. Topline results for all these studies are expected to be reported in the first half of 2020.
DPX-Survivac was granted fast track designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as maintenance therapy for advanced ovarian cancer in 2014. It has also received orphan drug status from the FDA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the same indication.
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