Merck and DNAtrix Announce Collaboration
News Oct 09, 2015
Merck and DNAtrix have announced that they have entered into an oncology clinical study collaboration to evaluate the efficacy and safety of DNX-2401, DNAtrix’s oncolytic immunotherapy, in combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, in a Phase 2, multi-centered study of patients with recurrent glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer for which there is no cure.
DNX-2401 is a conditionally replicative oncolytic adenovirus designed to specifically target cells defective in the Retinoblastoma (Rb) pathway, which is present in many cancers. Several DNX-2401 clinical studies have demonstrated a favorable safety profile and strong tumor-killing potential in patients with recurrent glioblastoma.
KEYTRUDA is a humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks the interaction between PD-1 (programmed death receptor-1) and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2. KEYTRUDA is currently approved in the United States for certain types of advanced metastatic melanoma.
“We are excited to enter into this important collaboration with Merck as we investigate the potential anti-tumor effect that combining our two immunotherapies – DNX-2401 and KEYTRUDA – may offer patients with this aggressive disease,” said Frank Tufaro, Ph.D., chief executive officer of DNAtrix.
“The collaboration with DNAtrix further strengthens our efforts to progress the field of immuno-oncology and identify potential combinations that will significantly advance the care of people with cancers for which there have been few advancements,” said Dr. Eric Rubin, vice president and therapeutic area head, oncology early-stage development, Merck Research Laboratories. “We look forward to studying the potential synergistic effects that combining DNX-2401 and KEYTRUDA could have in the treatment of patients with recurrent glioblastoma.”
Discovery Advances Efforts to Prevent Spread of CancerNews
Newly identified gene targets could be key to preventing the spread of cancer, new University of Alberta research has shown.
Higher BMI is Associated with a Lower Risk of Breast Cancer Before MenopauseNews
Having a higher body mass index (BMI) at a younger age is associated with a decreased risk of developing breast cancer before the menopause, major new research funded by Breast Cancer Now and other collaborators has found.READ MORE
Miniature Testing of Drug Pairs on Tumor BiopsiesNews
Combinations of cancer drugs can be quickly and cheaply tested on tumour cells using a novel device. The research marks the latest advancement in the field of personalised medicine. Using a microfluidic device that fits in the palm of your hand, scientists screened over 1100 treatment conditions on patient tumour cells. In the future, such tests could be used to inform clinicians on safe and effective combinations of cancer treatments.READ MORE