Agenus Inc , an immuno-oncology (I-O) company with a pipeline of immune checkpoint antibodies and cancer vaccines, today announced that the first patient has been dosed in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial of its anti-PD-1 antibody, AGEN2034.
The open-label, dose-escalation portion of the trial is designed to evaluate the safety and pharmacological activity of AGEN2034 in patients with advanced solid tumors. Part 2 of the trial is planned to evaluate the recommended dose of AGEN2034 in patients with second line cervical cancer. Preliminary safety and efficacy data are expected to be available within the next 9-12 months.
"The entry of our PD-1 antagonist into the clinic is key to our strategy to pursue combination therapies," said Garo H. Armen, Ph.D. Chairman and CEO of Agenus. "PD-1 is a clinically validated target, and to combine it with our CTLA-4 directed antibody is the backbone of Agenus' combination strategy. We also intend to pursue combinations of PD-1 and CTLA-4 antibodies with our novel portfolio of other checkpoint antibodies as well as our neoantigen cancer vaccines."
AGEN2034 is an antagonist antibody targeting programmed death 1, or PD-1. PD-1 is an inhibitory receptor expressed on activated T cells. When this receptor interacts with PD-L1 or PD-L2 molecules expressed on cancer cells, the T cells' ability to kill cancer cells is neutralized. Therefore, blocking PD-1 with AGEN2034 may allow T cells to recognize and kill tumor cells.
"Immune checkpoint antibodies targeting PD-1/PD-L1 and CTLA-4 have become the mainstay of I-O combinations," said Jean-Marie Cuillerot, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Agenus. "Co-targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 axis in combination with CTLA-4 has shown a near doubling of clinical efficacy in certain indications. We believe our strategy in pursuing virally-induced cancers presents a rapid path to BLA for our PD-1 and CTLA-4 antagonists. In addition, combination approaches involving our vaccines offer a unique opportunity for differentiation in patients who are unresponsive to checkpoint directed monotherapies."
AGEN2034 was originally developed under a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement between Ludwig Cancer Research, 4-Antibody AG and Recepta Biopharma S.A.
Agenus is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company focused on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body's immune system to fight cancer. The Company's vision is to expand the patient populations benefiting from cancer immunotherapy by pursuing a number of combination approaches that leverage a broad repertoire of antibody therapeutics and proprietary cancer vaccine platforms. The Company is equipped with a suite of antibody discovery platforms and a state-of-the-art GMP manufacturing facility with the capacity to support early phase clinical programs. Agenus is based in Lexington, MA. For more information, please visit www.agenusbio.com
Michelle Linn, 781-674-4541