ONCOS-102 is a virus-based cancer therapy being developed by Targovax for the treatment of patients with solid tumors like malignant mesothelioma. The company has just released an 18-month status update on patients provided a combination of ONCOS-102 with chemotherapy, revealing that median Overall Survival will be at least 18.2 months for first-line patients compared to 14.2 months for patients treated with chemotherapy alone.
Study Shows ONCOS-102 Provides Powerful Immune Activation for Mesothelioma Patients
The mechanism that drives ONCOS-102 is a two-part process in which adenovirus-based particles enter mesothelioma cells and kill them and cause the dying cells to release antigens that trigger an additional immune response that kills more cancer cells. This powerful activation leads to longer survival times than have traditionally been observed in patients treated with chemotherapy alone.
The researchers conducting the mesothelioma study have been releasing updates on the trial in six-month increments since January of 2020. As of the 18-month mark in November, more than half of the first-line patients treated with ONCOS-102 were still alive, while the first line chemotherapy-only control group less than half were alive. The next update will be released in the first half of 2021.
Next Step for ONCOS-102 in Mesothelioma: Combining with a Checkpoint Inhibitor
Based on the positive results that have been seen in mesothelioma patients treated with ONCOS-102 and chemotherapy, Targovax scientists believe that the next step is to combine the drug with a checkpoint inhibitor. The company is in talks with drug manufacturer Merck regarding a study that will combine the use of ONCOS-102 with Keytruda.
Speaking of the company’s recently released results, Targovax Chief Medical Officer Magnus Jäderberg said, “We are very pleased that overall survival in first-line patients, is tracking well in the ONCOS-102 treated group. We have already established in the current study that ONCOS-102 drives favorable remodeling of the tumor microenvironment, and we are now starting to see this immune activation translating into the encouraging improved survival outcomes in these 18-month results. This is exactly what we had hoped to see and prepares the way for combining ONCOS-102 with checkpoint inhibition. The immune data suggest to us that survival outcomes in combination with Keytruda may be further improved from the results reported today.”
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