ASCO19: Top picks from the abstract pile…

With the bulk of abstracts for the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting released on May 15, it's a hard job to wade through the brief study summaries to pick out the highlights. With data on Amgen's AMG 510 and Roche's entrectinib highlighted separately, FirstWord has rounded up some of the more keenly anticipated abstracts below:

  • Iovance's LN-145 in recurrent, metastatic or persistent cervical cancer
  • MacroGenics' margetuximab in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer
  • Takeda's TAK-788 in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer with EGFR exon 20 insertions
  • Nektar's NKTR-214, Opdivo combination in patients with sarcomas
  • Aduro's ADU-S100 in combination with Novartis' spartalizumab in patients with advanced/metastatic solid tumours or lymphomas

Iovance's LN-145 in recurrent, metastatic or persistent cervical cancer

Iovance Biotherapeutics released data from the Phase II innovaTIL-04 study, with the experimental drug LN-145 showing an objective response rate (ORR) of 44 percent in 12 patients with recurrent, metastatic or persistent cervical cancer. The company noted that this consisted of one complete response, nine partial responses (PRs) and two unconfirmed PRs, with a disease control rate of 89 percent. At 3.5-month median follow-up, 11 out of 12 patients maintained a response. LN-145 is based on Iovance's tumour-infiltrating lymphocyte technology.

MacroGenics' margetuximab in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer

MacroGenics provided more colour on the Phase III SOPHIA study of margetuximab in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer who have previously been treated with anti-HER2-targeted therapies, having announced earlier this year that the study met the primary endpoint of prolongation of progression-free survival (PFS). More detailed results show that median PFS in patients given margetuximab was 5.8 months compared to 4.9 months for those given Roche's Herceptin (trastuzumab), both in combination with chemotherapy.

Further, in the 85 percent of patients in the trial who carried the CD16A (FcγRIIIa) 158F allele, median PFS was 6.9 months for margetuximab, versus 5.1 months for Herceptin. MacroGenics added that the ORR was 22 percent in the margetuximab arm, compared to 16 percent in the Herceptin arm. And despite being immature, data show that median overall survival was prolonged by 1.7 months in patients given margetuximab and chemotherapy compared to those on Herceptin and chemotherapy, which increased to 6.8 months in the subset of patients carrying the CD16A 158F allele.

Takeda's TAK-788 in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer with EGFR exon 20 insertions

Results from a Phase I/II study showed that in 26 evaluable patients with advanced, previously treated non-small-cell lung cancer with EGFR exon 20 insertions, Takeda's TAK-788 was associated with an ORR of 54 percent, with all responses being PRs. The drug, also known as AP32788, is a small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting EGFR and HER2 mutations, which Takeda gained via its purchase of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals in 2017.

Nektar's NKTR-214, Opdivo combination in patients with sarcomas

A pilot study investigating Nektar Therapeutics' NKTR-214 in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo (nivolumab) showed that in 50 patients with various kinds of sarcomas, PRs were seen in two subjects with undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma, one patient with leiomyosarcoma and one person with chondrosarcoma. Median PFS ranged from 1.8 months to 3.9 months, while median overall survival was between 5.1 months and 7.7 months.

Meanwhile, the clinical benefit rate at six months ranged from 20 percent to 40 percent. NKTR-214, also known as bempegaldesleukin, is an CD122-preferential IL-2 pathway agonist designed to provide rapid activation and proliferation of cancer-killing immune cells without over activating the immune system.

Aduro's ADU-S100 in combination with Novartis' spartalizumab in patients with advanced/metastatic solid tumours or lymphomas

Results from a Phase Ib study showed that the combination of Aduro Biotech's STING pathway activator ADU-S100 and Novartis' anti-PD1 monoclonal antibody spartalizumab in patients with advanced/metastatic solid tumours or lymphoma led to PRs in some subjects with PD-1-naive triple-negative breast cancer and PD-1-relapsed or refractory melanoma. The trial recruited 66 patients, although treatment was halted in 49 of these subjects, with 28 stoppages due to disease progression, two related to adverse events and one patient death.

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