-- T-cell Redirecting Immunotherapy Enhanced With Interferon-α in Human Pancreatic and Gastric Cancer Models --
CHICAGO, June 1, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Immunomedics, Inc., (Nasdaq:IMMU) today reported the development of bispecific antibodies that redirect human T-cells to certain solid cancers.
T-cell redirected therapy of cancer is one of several new methods of cancer immunotherapy being studied both clinically and preclinically. In contrast to hematological tumors, little progress has been made in this approach to treat the more challenging solid cancers, including pancreatic and gastric cancers, two malignancies with very high rates of mortality.
The Company has previously reported the development of (E1)-3s, a novel investigational T-cell redirecting bispecific antibody created using the Company's patented DOCK-AND-LOCK™ protein conjugation technology, for the potential treatment of pancreatic and gastric cancers. These and various other solid cancers express high-levels of TROP-2, a target recognized by the bispecific (E1)-3s, which also binds to the CD3 antigen on T cells. (E1)-3s has previously been shown to effectively induce a potent and specific T-cell-mediated killing of human pancreatic and gastric cancer cell lines. For more information on (E1)-3s, please refer to the Company's press release at http://www.immunomedics.com/pdfs/news/2014/pr04082014.pdf.
In the current study, the effect of interferon-α (IFN-α), which has demonstrated clinical efficacy in multiple solid cancers, on the T-cell redirecting bispecific antibody was evaluated using animal models of human pancreatic or gastric cancer. In the gastric cancer model, treatment with a combination of IFN-α and (E1)-3s bispecific antibody was superior to the bispecific antibody alone (p=0.0007) in delaying the out-growth of tumor. The combination also significantly delayed tumor growth in the pancreatic cancer model compared to all other treatment groups (p<0.0007), including the IFN-α only treatment group.
"We believe this is the first report of enhancing T-cell redirected cancer immunotherapy with an immunomodulatory cytokine, such as interferon," remarked Ms. Sullivan. "The challenge with this technology is to translate promising clinical effects found in leukemia and lymphomas to the more resistant solid cancers, and we have chosen to study two of the most lethal cancers, pancreatic and gastric cancers," she added.
Immunomedics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing monoclonal antibody-based products for the targeted treatment of cancer, autoimmune disorders and other serious diseases. Immunomedics' advanced proprietary technologies allow the Company to create humanized antibodies that can be used either alone in unlabeled or "naked" form, or conjugated with radioactive isotopes, chemotherapeutics, cytokines or toxins. Using these technologies, Immunomedics has built a pipeline of nine clinical-stage product candidates. Immunomedics has an ongoing collaboration with UCB, S.A. (UCB), who has worldwide rights in non-cancer indications to Immunomedics' Phase III product candidate, epratuzumab. UCB expects Phase III data in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in the first quarter of 2015. Immunomedics is exploring epratuzumab in oncology in collaboration with outside cancer study groups. Immunomedics' most advanced wholly owned candidate is 90Y-clivatuzumab tetraxetan, which is in an ongoing Phase III registration trial in patients with pancreatic cancer. Immunomedics' portfolio of wholly owned product candidates also includes antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) that are designed to deliver a specific payload of a chemotherapeutic directly to the tumor while reducing overall toxicity effects that typically occur when these chemotherapeutic agents are dosed alone. Immunomedics' most advanced ADCs are IMMU-132 and IMMU-130, which are in Phase I/II trials for a number of solid tumors and metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC), respectively. Immunomedics also has a number of other product candidates that target solid tumors and hematologic malignancies, as well as other diseases, in various stages of clinical and pre-clinical development. These include bispecific antibodies which have application as T-cell redirecting immunotherapies targeting cancers and infectious diseases as well as next-generation therapies in cancer and autoimmune disease. Immunomedics creates these bispecific antibodies using its patented DOCK-AND-LOCK™ (DNL™) protein conjugation technology. The Company believes that its portfolio of intellectual property, which includes approximately 248 active patents in the United States and more than 400 foreign patents, protects its product candidates and technologies. Immunomedics' strength in intellectual property has resulted in the top-4 ranking in the January 2014 Patent Board scorecard in the Biotechnology industry. For additional information on the Company, please visit its website at www.immunomedics.com. The information on its website does not, however, form a part of this press release.
This release, in addition to historical information, may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements, including statements regarding clinical trials (including the funding therefor, outcomes, timing or associated costs), out-licensing arrangements (including the timing and amount of contingent payments), forecasts of future operating results, potential collaborations, and capital raising activities, involve significant risks and uncertainties and actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied herein. Factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to, new product development (including clinical trials outcome and regulatory requirements/actions), our dependence on UCB for the further development of epratuzumab for non-cancer indications, risks associated with the outcome of pending litigation, competitive risks to marketed products and availability of required financing and other sources of funds on acceptable terms, if at all, as well as the risks discussed in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company is not under any obligation, and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation, to update or alter any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
For More Information: Dr. Chau Cheng Senior Director, Investor Relations & Grant Management (973) 605-8200, extension 123