The Sydney-based biotechnology Immutep (ASX:IMM) company has released new positive data from a trial involving its immunotherapy in combination with MSD's KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab).
Immutep is developing eftilagimod alpha ('efti'), a soluble LAG-3 protein, in combination with KEYTRUDA. The trial is testing the combination in over 100 lung cancer patients.
According to Immutep's chief scientific and medical officer Dr Frederic Triebel, “The results we are seeing from our TACTI-002 trial are highly encouraging, with 47% of first-line non-small cell lung cancer patients responding.
"These results are remarkable given that usually only 20% of patients respond to pembrolizumab monotherapy, if not preselected for high PD-L1 expression. Interestingly, patient responses are being seen in all three PD-L1 expression level groups, meaning the combination treatment seems to work even in patients not expected to respond to pembrolizumab monotherapy.
"The initial overall response rate of 33% of second-line head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients is also very exciting, albeit from a smaller patient group. It compares well to an expected pembrolizumab monotherapy response rate of 15-18%, especially taking into account that three patients could not yet be assessed.”
CEO Marc Voigt added, “We are very excited by the results from TACTI-002 as pembrolizumab monotherapy is approved only for PD-L1 subgroups in first line NSCLC. Seeing substantial response rates also in low PD-L1 expression groups from the combination therapy is very encouraging, particularly in light of the good safety profile to date for efti.”