AACR Meeting Brief: H3 Biomedicine, Checkmate, Deciphera and More
The following is a roundup of presentations and findings from multiple companies participating in the 2018 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Chicago.
H3 Biomedicine Inc. – Working with Foundation Medicine, H3 Biomedicine unveiled novel findings from a comprehensive genomic analysis of 6,235 patients across 15 hematologic malignancies at AACR. The results include the first-ever observance of recurrent RNA splicing factor mutations in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma, the company said. In its announcement, H3 said the findings demonstrate the “continued emergence of splicing factor mutations as a hallmark of dozens of hematologic and solid tumor cancers, their potential role in tumor formation and growth, and, thus, the opportunity to advance a new class of therapies.”
Checkmate Pharmaceuticals – Data from an ongoing Phase Ib trial shows that Checkmate’s Toll-like receptor 9 CMP-001 combined with Merck’s Keytruda demonstrated “deep and durable clinical responses” in patients with advanced melanoma who are resistant to prior anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibition. Data shows that the combination therapy brought about the systemic regression of “non-injected cutaneous, nodal, hepatic, and splenic metastases in patients who had progressed on a median of two prior therapies.”
Deciphera Pharmaceuticals – Cambridge, Mass.-based Deciphera unveiled preclinical data that showed DCC-2618, a KIT and PDGFRα kinase switch control inhibitor, inhibited primary and secondary KIT mutations and primary PDGFRα mutations in gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and systemic mastocytosis. Deciphera said in comparison to other approved compounds, DCC-2618 demonstrated the “broadest profile of inhibition” in the preclinical study.
NewLink Genetics – In a poster presentation at AACR NewLink showed that indoximod has a unique method of action in modulating AhR-driven transcription of genes. The company said the different mechanism of action may contribute to antitumor immune responses in the IDO pathway, as well as independent of that IDO pathway. The company said indoximod regulates the “differentiation of helper T cells toward an immuno-stimulatory helper function and downregulates genes that control the differentiation of T cells into immuno-suppressive regulatory T cells in an AhR dependent manner.”
Torque – Preclinical data presented by Torque at AACR shows the company’s Deep-Primed IL-15 and Deep-Primed IL-12 cellular therapy programs demonstrated superior activity compared to systemically administered IL-15 and IL-12. Torque’s Deep-Primed therapeutics use material engineering to anchor immune-stimulatory drugs directly to the surface of multi-targeted, antigen-primed T cells. This allows the activation of the adaptive and innate immune system with pharmacologic control in the tumor microenvironment, according to the company.
Laboratory for Advanced Medicine – With a push to advance early cancer diagnostics California-based Laboratory for Advanced Medicine revealed data that demonstrates the utility of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) methylation markers in the diagnosis, surveillance and prognosis of Hepatocellular Carcinoma. In an AACR presentation, the company said the findings support that “ctDNA carrying cancer-specific genetic and epigenetic aberrations may enable a non-invasive liquid biopsy for the diagnosis and monitoring of cancer.”
PharmaMar – New data presented by PharmaMar at AACR showed that plitidepsin interacts with and inhibits PKR on the eEF1A2 enzyme. Plitidepsin inhibits this interaction obtaining the induction of cell death, the company announced. PharmaMar said through the bonding to eEF1A2, plitidepsin annuls the oncogenic properties of its target.