Immutep reports positive overall response rate in lung cancer trial

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Immutep (ASX:IMM) has released new data from the phase 2 lung cancer trial (TACTI-002) evaluating its lead product candidate eftilagimod alpha (efti) in combination with MSD’s anti-PD-1 therapy KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) in 114 patients.

The data was presented in an Oral Presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s (ASCO) 2022 Annual Meeting.

According to principal investigator Dr Enriqueta Felip, “It is very encouraging to see the combination of efti plus pembrolizumab is showing favourable anti-tumour activity in patients with 1st line NSCLC. These responses were deep and durable and there has also been a low patient discontinuation rate. I believe the combination of efti plus pembrolizumab warrants late-stage clinical investigation.”

Immutep's Dr Frederic Triebel said: “Our ORR by local read of 38.6% in 1st line NSCLC patients is comparing favourably to historical results from anti-PD-1 monotherapies where response rates in PD-L1 all-comer trials are typically around 20%. We are particularly pleased to see encouraging responses across all PD-L1 status groups, showing that efti may kick start an anti-tumour immune response even in patients with no or low PD-L1 expression. In addition, the combination of efti plus pembrolizumab has a safety profile consistent with that observed in previously reported studies for pembrolizumab monotherapy. We continue to believe that efti, with its unique mechanism of action, may ultimately provide a very meaningful benefit to diverse sets of cancer patients including those with more limited treatment options.”

CEO Marc Voigt said, “We are delighted that patient outcomes are improved with the combination of efti plus pembrolizumab across different patient groups. The data is encouraging for patients, as there is an unmet medical need, particularly for those with NSCLC with no or low PD-L1 expression. We enlarged this part of the study in order to see if the strong earlier results in a smaller group of patients are holding true in more than a hundred patients. By biotech standards, we consider this to be a large patient population for a Phase II trial.

“For Immutep, these highly favourable results are of strategic importance, as they support late-stage development for an attractive and very large addressable market.”