TILT Biotherapeutics and MSD to Collaborate on Clinical Trial of Adenoviral Cancer Immunotherapeutic TILT-123 in Combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) for Ovarian Cancer
HELSINKI, Finland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TILT Biotherapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing cancer immunotherapeutics, today announced a clinical trial collaboration agreement with MSD, a premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company, to evaluate TILT’s adenoviral cancer immunotherapy TILT-123, a dual cytokine armed oncolytic adenovirus, in combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), MSD’s anti-PD-1 therapy, in a Phase I dose escalation trial in platinum resistant or refractory ovarian cancer.
The trial will include 15 to 30 patients and will be led by Dr. Matt Block at Mayo Clinic (Minnesota, USA). During the first month of the trial, patients will receive TILT-123 monotherapy, and thereafter consecutive treatments of TILT-123 in conjunction with pembrolizumab. The trial’s objective is to evaluate the safety and efficacy of TILT-123 in combination with pembrolizumab and is designed to also deliver insights about the mechanism of action of TILT-123 in humans.
A Phase I trial with TILT-123 conducted in Europe showed no serious adverse events when used as a monotherapy or in combination with tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) at the first dose level (1) and has now progressed to the second dose level.
TILT Biotherapeutics’ CEO, Akseli Hemminki, a biotech entrepreneur and cancer clinician who has personally treated almost 300 patients with ten different oncolytic viruses, said, “There is a pressing need for a therapy to address platinum refractory ovarian cancer. The heart of our approach revolves around the use of oncolytic adenoviruses armed with cytokines to boost the patient’s immune response towards the tumor, enabling it to find and destroy cancer cells. We are delighted to be working with MSD to progress our lead candidate, TILT-123, towards the clinic in combination with its breakthrough immunotherapy KEYTRUDA.”
About TILT Biotherapeutics
TILT Biotherapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing cancer therapeutics based on its proprietary oncolytic adenoviruses armed with molecules including cytokines that can stimulate, or suppress, T cells. The company’s patented TILT® technology, which can be delivered locally and systemically, modifies the tumor microenvironment and eliminates its ability to suppress immune responses to cancer, thereby enhancing T-cell therapies such as checkpoint inhibitors and CAR T therapies. TILT’s lead asset, TILT-123, is a 5/3 chimeric serotype adenovirus armed with two human cytokines; TNF alpha and IL-2. TILT-123 has demonstrated a 100% response rate in pre-clinical cancer models in vivo.
Based in Helsinki, Finland, the company was established in 2013 as a spin-out from the University of Helsinki. It has funding from Lifeline Ventures, angel investors, Business Finland, and the European Innovation Council (EIC). The Company’s pioneering approach has been recognised by industry leaders and it has established partnerships for the development and commercialization of TILT’s proprietary oncolytic virus TILT-123.
KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA.