Tuesday, September 27, 2022
TILT Biotherapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing cancer immunotherapies, announces it has signed a second clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with MSD, a tradename of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA, for a new clinical trial evaluating TILT-123, its oncolytic adenovirus armed with two human cytokines, in combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), MSD’s anti-PD-1 therapy.
This Phase I, open label, dose escalation trial will include 12 to 24 patients with immune checkpoint inhibitor refractory non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This latest trial builds on the company’s emerging data on the use of its oncolytic immunotherapy candidate TILT-123 currently in trials for several other indications where promising results of intravenous usability has motivated the expansion of the portfolio of trials.
TILT Biotherapeutics’ CEO, Akseli Hemminki, a cancer clinician who has personally treated hundreds of cancer patients, said, “We already have clinical trials running in Europe and the USA in several cancer types, including ovarian cancer, head and neck cancer, and melanoma. We are planning several more, one of which is this new collaboration in NSCLC with our collaborator MSD. Overall, our armed oncolytic viruses are showing potential in the clinic to increase the anti-tumor benefits of checkpoint inhibitors for a range of cancers where there is a pressing need for better therapies.”
The heart of TILT’s innovative approach revolves around the use of armed oncolytic adenoviruses, using cytokines and other molecules to boost the patient’s T-cell immune response to better enable it to find and destroy cancer cells.