TILT Biotherapeutics doses first patient in cancer trial
The multi-centre open-label, phase 1 dose-escalation trial will evaluate igrelimogene litadenorepvec (TILT-123) in combination with avelumab in squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (SCCHN), and melanoma in patients with advanced solid tumors refractory to, or progressing after, anti-PD(L)1.
The study is part of TILT's agreement with Merck KGaA and Pfizer, to evaluate this combination in patients with solid tumors refractory to immune checkpoint inhibitors.
The European trial is taking place at the Docrates Cancer Center in Helsinki, Finland, with the company aiming to open its US site in Q3 2023.
Igrelimogene litadenorepvec (TILT-123)
TILT-123 is the biotech’s lead product, a 5/3 chimeric serotype adenovirus armed with two human cytokines that can be delivered intravenously or intratumorally.
It treats cancer by working synergistically with immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as avelumab, in solid tumors.
According to TILT, the heart of its approach revolves around the use of oncolytic adenoviruses armed with cytokines to boost the patient’s systemic immune response to better enable it to find and destroy cancer cells.
The company is advancing its pipeline of programs, including its key asset TILT-123, in further clinical trials, in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors.
“We are delighted with the progress of our lead oncolytic virus in combination with avelumab as we believe it has the potential to increase the response rate of immune checkpoint inhibitors to deliver synergistic benefits to patients who have failed to benefit from immune checkpoint inhibitors, or where immunotherapy has become an ineffective treatment option,” said Akseli Hemminki, cancer clinician and founder and CEO of TILT Biotherapeutics.
“Our lead asset, TILT-123, has been administered as monotherapy or in combination to about 50 patients in four international TILT sponsored trials with promising initial efficacy responses observed in some of the patients.
“We believe our innovative armed oncolytic virus that can be administered through intravenous, and intratumoral, routes will deliver better treatment outcomes for cancer patients. We expect to make key interim clinical data announcements at leading scientific conferences during this and next year.”