SEATTLE, June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- VentiRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in collaboration with the Gynecologic Oncology Group and the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program announced today that positive preclinical and clinical data of VTX-2337 in combination with Doxil®(pegylated liposomal doxorubicin) or paclitaxel in women with recurrent ovarian cancer were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting. Results indicate that the combination of VTX-2337 and chemotherapy is well tolerated with no evidence of synergistic toxicities. Encouraging signs of efficacy provided the rationale for the ongoing randomized, placebo controlled Phase 2 study of VTX-2337 in combination with pegylated liposomal doxorubicin in patients with recurrent or persistent ovarian cancer (GOG-3003, NCT01666444)
VTX-2337, a Toll-like Receptor 8 (TLR8) agonist, demonstrated a clear additive effect to Doxilin a humanized mouse model of ovarian cancer. Data demonstrated that this combination provides an enhanced effect in stimulating a variety of immune pathways associated with anti-tumor activity.
A Phase 1b trial conducted with the Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) in 13 patients with recurrent or persistent ovarian cancer demonstrated that the combination of VTX-2337 with Doxil is safe and well tolerated (GOG-9925, NCT01294293). The study reported no serious or unexpected drug-related adverse events and no evidence of synergistic toxicities. Eleven patients were evaluable for tumor response by RECIST 1.1. One patient achieved a complete response and 63 percent of patients had stable disease. A separate arm examining VTX-2337 with paclitaxel in 7 subjects showed similar tolerability with 43% stable disease.
"Given the absence of clear molecular drivers in high-grade serous ovarian cancer, targeting the tumor microenvironment with an immunotherapy like VTX-2337 is a good option for this difficult to treat patient population. The preclinical and early clinical data confirm the potential utility of igniting the patient's own immune system to help fight cancer," said Bradley Monk, M.D., St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, chair of the Phase 1b and ongoing Phase 2 studies.
"We are excited to be working with the GOG to advance the clinical development of VTX-2337 in ovarian cancer," said Robert Hershberg, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of VentiRx Pharmaceuticals. "We see a strong scientific and clinical rationale for chemo-immunotherapy using our novel TLR8 agonist in this setting."
VTX-2337 is a Toll-like Receptor 8 (TLR8) agonist that directly activates multiple components of the innate immune system. This includes activation of human myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs), monocytes and natural killer (NK) cells resulting in the production of high levels of mediators known to orchestrate the integration of innate and adaptive anti-tumor responses.
About The Gynecologic Oncology Group
The GOG is a national non-profit organization dedicated to clinical research in the field of gynecologic cancer. The purpose of the GOG is to improve the treatment of gynecologic cancer. These goals are addressed through research encompassing surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, pathology, immunology and/or gynecologic nursing. To promote this mission, the GOG receives support from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes for Health. The GOG has a history of establishing treatment standards for ovarian cancer, demonstrating improved survival with platinum therapy in the early 1980s and again with the combination of Taxol® and platinum in the mid-1990s.
About VentiRx Pharmaceuticals
VentiRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company committed to the development and commercialization of novel Toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8) immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer, respiratory and inflammatory diseases. The Company's lead product candidate is VTX-2337, a small molecule TLR8 agonist for the treatment of cancer. VentiRx has an exclusive, world-wide collaboration with Celgene Corporation. VentiRx is a privately held organization with operations in Seattle, Washington. For additional information, please visit www.ventirx.com.
SOURCE VentiRx Pharmaceuticals, Inc.