Positive efficacy result for Immutep’s 'efti' in combination with MSD's pembrolizumab

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Australian company Immutep (ASX:IMM) has announced positive data from a trial of its LAG-3 immunotherapy, eftilagimod alpha, in combination with MSD's KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab).

The Phase 2 trial (TACTI-002) is evaluating the combination as a first-line treatment for patients with previously untreated unresectable or metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Immutep said the combination provided a 35.5-month median overall survival benefit, compared to KEYTRUDA monotherapy (16.4 months) and a range of other combinations (15.8 to 23.3 months).

The company said the eftilagimod alpha-KEYTRUDA combination delivered strong efficacy results regardless of PD-L1 expression.

The data was presented by Dr Enric Carcereny of the Catalan Institute of Oncology in Spain, during a session at ESMO Congress 2023 on Saturday.

"Unlike other IO-IO [immunotherapy-immunotheray] combinations that only work in high PD-L1 expressing patients or IO-chemo combinations that rely on toxic chemotherapy to drive better efficacy, efti is clearly enabling deep, durable responses for patients regardless of PD-L1 expression with a favourable safety profile that’s in line with anti-PD-1 monotherapy," said Dr Carcereny.

Immutep CEO Marc Voigt added, “We are extremely pleased to report these excellent overall survival results, the gold standard benchmark within oncology, in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, and believe these are among the strongest ever delivered in a sizable Phase II clinical trial like TACTI-002 evaluating a dual immuno-oncology approach. The strength of the data positions us well as we continue to plan and prepare for our Phase III trial that we expect to launch next year.”