PDS collaborates with Merck in Phase 2 studies
("NetScientific" or the "Company")
Portfolio Company PDS Biotechnology collaborates with Merck in Phase 2 studies for PDS0101 in metastatic head and neck cancer and high-risk human papillomavirus-16 (HPV16) infection
London, UK - 03 October 2019 - NetScientific plc (AIM: NSCI), the transatlantic healthcare IP commercialisation Group, is pleased to note the modification to the collaboration of its portfolio company, PDS Biotechnology ("PDS") (Nasdaq: PDSB), with Merck in a Phase II clinical study of their lead product, PDS0101 in combination with Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy, KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), as a first line treatment in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer and high-risk human papillomavirus-16 (HPV16) infection.
The planned clinical trial will now evaluate the efficacy and safety of the combination as a first-line treatment in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer and high-risk human papillomavirus-16 (HPV16) infection and is expected to be initiated in the first quarter of 2020.
Full details are set our below.
Ian Postlethwaite, CEO of NetScientific, said:
"This collaboration advancing PDS0101 into Phase II studies clearly demonstrates the strength of the results from PDS's initial Phase I studies for PDS0101. Merck is renowned in the field of immuno-oncology, and PDS0101 when working in combination with their leading treatment for cancer, KEYTRUDA®, has the potential to offer a new and exciting therapy for patients suffering from these devastating diseases."
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Below is the full announcement made today by PDS Biotechnology:
PDS Biotechnology Corp. Announces Clinical Collaboration with Merck
PDS0101- KEYTRUDA® (Pembrolizumab) Combination to be Evaluated in First Line Treatment of Metastatic Head and Neck Cancer
Berkeley Heights, NJ, October 03, 2019 / PDS Biotechnology Corporation ("PDS Biotechnology") (Nasdaq: PDSB), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company pioneering the development of multi-functional immunotherapeutic products, today announced a modification of the clinical trial collaboration agreement with a subsidiary of Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) to evaluate the combination of PDS's lead Versamune®-based immunotherapy, PDS0101, with Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy, KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), in a Phase II clinical trial. The planned clinical trial will now evaluate the efficacy and safety of the combination as a first-line treatment in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer and high-risk human papillomavirus-16 (HPV16) infection and is expected to be initiated in the first quarter of 2020.
The modification to the clinical trial design now allowing evaluation of PDS0101 in combination with KEYTRUDA® as first-line treatment comes as a result of Merck's recent approval by the FDA on June 10, 2019 for KEYTRUDA® as monotherapy in patients whose tumors express PD-L1 (CPS ≥1) or in combination with platinum and fluorouracil (FU) for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic or with unresectable, recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
"We are honored to collaborate with Merck, a proven leader in the field of immuno-oncology to evaluate novel investigational combination therapies that have the potential to further improve the lives of cancer patients," said Dr. Lauren V. Wood, Chief Medical Officer of PDS." The recently updated clinical outcome findings of the PDS0101 phase 1 human clinical trial demonstrate unique in-vivo systemic induction of high levels of granzyme-b inducing HPV-specific killer T-cells associated with observed clinical responses (regression/ elimination of pre-cancerous lesions) in the majority of evaluable patients treated with PDS0101 monotherapy, and a lack of dose limiting toxicities at all tested doses (PDS press release September 19, 2019). Preclinical data demonstrating the novel multi-functional mechanism of action of the Versamune® platform technology and the resulting superior T-cell induction and unique regression of advanced tumors were published in the June 2019 issue of the Journal of Immunology.
PDS Biotechnology's lead product candidate, PDS0101 (Versamune®-HPV) is a proprietary clinical stage immunotherapeutic administered by subcutaneous injection being developed to treat HPV-associated cancers. These include cancers such as head and neck cancers and anal cancers, both of which are widely reported to be increasing in frequency over the last decade, and cervical cancer.
Details of the collaboration were not disclosed.
KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA.
Versamune® is a registered trademark of PDS Biotechnology Corporation, Berkeley Heights, NJ, USA.
About the Versamune® Platform Technology
Versamune® is a proprietary, synthetic lipid-based T-cell activating platform. PDS Biotechnology's pipeline of Versamune®-based products, which are administered by subcutaneous injection, provides strong activation of type I interferon genes. The Versamune® mechanism of action also involves effective presentation of tumor antigens via the MHC Class I and Class II pathways. These mechanisms together promote strong in-vivo induction of polyfunctional tumor-targeting CD8+ T-cells. Versamune®-based immunotherapies have been demonstrated to alter the tumor micro-environment in preclinical mechanism of action studies, thus further enhancing the ability of Versamune®-induced T-cells to effectively kill tumor cells. Preclinical data demonstrating the novel multi-functional mechanism of action of the Versamune® platform technology and the resulting superior T-cell induction and unique regression of advanced tumors were published in the Journal of Immunology (Journal of Immunology, Vol. 202, Issue 1215 June 2019).
About PDS Biotechnology and PDS0101
PDS Biotechnology is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company with a growing pipeline of clinical-stage immunotherapies to treat various HPV-associated cancers, including head and neck cancer, cervical and anal cancers. PDS0101 includes the Versamune® immune-activating platform and a mixture of HPV16 E6 and E7 peptide antigens designed to induce cytolytic T-cell responses against HPV expressed in patients with HPV-associated cancers. Clinical outcome findings from the PDS0101 Phase 1 clinical study demonstrated unique in-vivo systemic induction of high levels of granzyme-b inducing HPV-specific killer T-cells associated with observed clinical responses (regression and elimination of pre-cancerous lesions) in the majority of evaluable patients treated with PDS0101 monotherapy, and a lack of dose limiting toxicities at all tested doses.
For full release and additional information about PDS, please visit www.pdsbiotech.com.
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This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014.
For more information, please contact:
Ian Postlethwaite, CEO / CFO
Tel: +44 (0)20 3514 1800
WHIreland (NOMAD, Financial Adviser and Broker)
Chris Fielding / Darshan Patel
Tel: +44 (0)20 7220 1666
MO PR ADVISORY (Press Contact)
Tel: +44 (0)78 7644 4977
NetScientific PLC is a transatlantic healthcare IP commercialisation Group focused on technologies and companies that have the potential to treat chronic disease and significantly improve the health and well-being of people.
For more information, please visit the website at www.NetScientific.net
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