Oncosec Medical (ONCS) Announces Positive Interim Data from ImmunoPulse IL-12 + KEYTRUDA Trial in Metastatic Melanoma

November 8, 2016 8:02 AM EST

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OncoSec Medical Incorporated (Nasdaq: ONCS) announced that new clinical data are being presented from a Phase II Investigator Sponsored Trial led by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). This single-arm, open-label trial assessed the combination of OncoSec's investigational intratumoral therapy, ImmunoPulse IL-12, and Merck's KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) in patients with unresectable metastatic melanoma. A predictive biomarker was used to enroll patients that have a low likelihood of response to an anti-PD1 agent alone, and the purpose of the trial is to assess whether the addition of ImmunoPulse® IL-12 can increase response rates in these patients. The data will be presented at an oral poster presentation (#466) by Dr. Alain Algazi at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer ("SITC") Annual Meeting in National Harbor, MD on November 11, 2016 at 12:50 PM EST.

In August 2016, OncoSec announced the publication of a research assay in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that might be used as a predicative biomarker in melanoma patients. The assay shows that patients with a low frequency of a certain phenotype of CD8 T cells, pre-disposes them to low response rates to PD-1 inhibitor therapy alone. The Company is using this biomarker assay to select patients considered to be PD-1 non responders for this ongoing combination study. The key endpoints of the study include: best overall response rate by the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) v1.1 and immune-related Response Criteria; safety and tolerability; duration of response; 24-week landmark progression-free survival; median progression-free survival; and overall survival.

ResultsInterim efficacy and safety data are available on 15 patients. In patients considered unable to respond to PD-1 we measured an overall response rate of 40% (6 /15), consisting of 4 complete responses and 2 partial responses by RECISTv1.1 criteria. Additionally, the therapy has an acceptable safety profile and was well tolerated. Analysis of tumor biopsies and blood correlated with patients' responsiveness and demonstrated correlative immunological changes including an increased number of CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, tumoral RNA signatures and concordant immune phenotypes in the periphery. Investigators concluded that the combination of ImmunoPulse® IL-12 with pembrolizumab in patients with an anti-PD-1 non-responsive phenotype enables an effective anti-PD-1 response.

Punit Dhillon, CEO of OncoSec, stated: "These results validate our therapeutic hypothesis for the ability of ImmunoPulse® IL-12 to improve response rates in advanced melanoma. We wish to thank the investigators and patients for their continued participation in this study. We are working diligently to advance this agent towards registration-enabling studies, and we look forward to providing additional details regarding the Company's operations and strategy at our upcoming Investor and Analyst Day on November 17, 2016."

Alain Algazi, M.D., Principal Investigator from UCSF, stated: "Although this open-label study is still ongoing and data are maturing, I am encouraged by the meaningful interim response rates that the combination of ImmunoPulse® IL-12 and pembrolizumab has been able to achieve in a patient population otherwise expected to respond poorly to pembrolizumab alone. While checkpoint inhibition has conferred meaningful clinical benefit for advanced melanoma patients, there remains an urgent need to increase these agents' efficacy through the rational combination with other immunotherapies. I look forward to the continued maturation of this data and to further reporting on the trial's progress."

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