OncoSec Announces First Patient Dosed in Phase 2 Trial of TAVO™ Plus OPDIVO® as Neoadjuvant Therapy for Melanoma
PENNINGTON, N.J. and SAN DIEGO, Jan. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- OncoSec Medical Incorporated (NASDAQ:ONCS) (the "Company" or "OncoSec") today announced the first patient was dosed in OMS-104, an investigator-initiated Phase 2 trial evaluating TAVO™ (tavokinogene telseplasmid), the Company's intratumoral DNA plasmid-based interleukin-12 (IL-12) therapy administered using its gene delivery platform (gene electrotransfer), in combination with the anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor OPDIVO® (nivolumab) as a neoadjuvant therapy prior to surgery in patients with operable, locally or regionally advanced melanoma. The trial is designed to evaluate if the addition of TAVO can improve clinical outcomes already observed when using nivolumab alone as a neoadjuvant therapy.
Anti-PD1 checkpoint inhibitors, when administered as a neoadjuvant therapy, have shown encouraging clinical results, but rapid recurrence remains an issue for many patients. TAVO in combination with OPDIVO may drive deep anti-tumor immune responses and complete elimination of tumors prior to surgery, leading to improved long-term clinical outcomes for a significant proportion of treated patients. TAVO in combination with another anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), has already been shown to enhance overall response rate and partial tumor responses in patients with anti-PD-1 checkpoint-refractory metastatic melanoma in OncoSec's KEYNOTE-695 registration directed Phase 2 clinical trial.
"While studies have shown relapse and overall survival advantages when checkpoint inhibitors are given alone following surgery, there is a need to investigate novel immunotherapeutic agents such as TAVO that can be given preoperatively in order to further enhance the clinical efficacy of immunotherapy in patients with advanced melanoma," said Armad A. Tarhini, M.D., Ph.D., Leader of the OMS-104 trial and Senior Member and Professor at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute and the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. "The neoadjuvant approach utilizing TAVO in combination with checkpoint inhibitors as being tested in this study may improve operability, pathologic tumor response and long-term disease control, which is highly desirable for these patients, who continue to have a high risk of recurrence and progression despite the use of standard therapy after surgery."
OMS-104 (NCT04526730) is a Phase 2 open-label, single arm study investigating intratumoral TAVO delivered by gene electrotransfer, or short electric pulses, plus nivolumab as neoadjuvant therapy in patients with operable locally-regionally advanced melanoma. The trial aims to enroll 33 patients and consists of three phases:
1) Neoadjuvant phase, where TAVO will be administered intratumorally using gene electrotransfer in three cycles on days one and eight every four weeks and nivolumab will be administered after TAVO on day eight of each cycle via 30-minute intravenous (IV) infusion;
2) Surgical phase consisting of a definitive surgery that will be scheduled 2-4 weeks after the last dose of nivolumab following radiologic and clinical assessment; and
3) Adjuvant phase, where nivolumab monotherapy will begin 2-4 weeks after surgery and will be administered for up to nine four-week cycles.
The primary endpoint is pathological complete response, estimated based on the proportion of participants with no viable tumor on histologic assessment at definitive surgery after the 12-week neoadjuvant period.
Daniel J. O'Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer of OncoSec, added, "TAVO delivers DNA plasmid-based IL-12 directly into the tumor using gene electrotransfer, which demonstrably enhances the immunogenicity of the treated tumors to yield productive 'in situ' vaccines. This principle has yielded striking results in post-PD-1 patients and is likely relevant in this earlier clinical setting. We look forward to exploring the utility of TAVO as a potential neoadjuvant therapy in a variety of solid tumor settings for patients in need of more effective treatment options."
About OncoSec Medical Incorporated
TAVO™ is a trademark of OncoSec Medical Incorporated.
KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.
OPDIVO® is a registered trademark of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.
Risk Factors and Forward-Looking Statements
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SOURCE OncoSec Medical Incorporated
Company Codes: NASDAQ-SMALL:ONCS