Significant news on the immunotherapy front. A small bio-pharmaceutical company, Gliknik, put out a press release yesterday about their immunomodulator, post SCT study results that were presented at last week at ASH.
Two things of note. First, this is another University of Pennsylvania hosted study. If you recall, Penn researchers administered the risky, yet highly successful experimental immunotherapy on in the young leukemia patient I reported on a few days ago.
Second, this study targeted high-risk patients. And most experts seem to think there may be something to get excited about here–and it that it warrants further study.
I posted a link to Gkiknik’s release yesterday on my MyelomaNews.com site. But I felt it was important enough to also post here. Forget the links, here’s the release:
Gliknik Announces Interim Clinical Data From Use Of Its Immunomodulator Drug Candidate In Multiple Myeloma Patients
University of Pennsylvania and University of Maryland Researchers Presented Independent Study Data at American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting
BALTIMORE, Dec. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Gliknik Inc., a privately held biopharmaceuticals company, today announced that researchers from University of Pennsylvania and University of Maryland presented at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting interim clinical data from a study that included treatment of high-risk multiple myeloma patients with Gliknik’s MAGE-A3 immunomodulator, GL-0817. GL-0817 is in ongoing Phase II clinical studies in both multiple myeloma and head and neck cancer.
Researchers shared the results on December 10, 2012, via an oral presentation entitled “Combination Immunotherapy After ASCT for Multiple Myeloma Using MAGE-A3/Poly-ICLC Immunizations Followed by Vaccine-Primed and Activated Autologous T-Cells.” Based on the interim analysis, researchers saw a 180-day rate of complete or partial response of 96 percent. Interventions in the clinical study include Autologous Stem Cell Transplant (ASCT), Gliknik’s GL-0817, and T-cell transplant with adjuvants GM-CSF, montanide (Seppic), and Poly ICLC (Hiltonol, Oncovir). Researchers reported robust antigen-specific T-cell responses as well as robust antibody responses in patients who received montanide. The abstract for the presentation is available at
Carl H. June, M.D., Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, stated, “These data are intriguing, especially when compared to the results from our previous trials. The robust clinical and immunologic responses to date suggest that the combination of therapies may be beneficial for patients with recurrent or high-risk multiple myeloma. A larger study combining GL-0817, adjuvants, primed T-cell therapy, and ASCT may be warranted.”
“In the challenging population of recurrent, high-risk multiple myeloma patients, clinical responses were encouraging,” said Aaron P. Rapoport, M.D., Gary Jobson Professor in Medical Oncology, University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of Lymphoma Gene Medicine, Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center. “Significant immune cell responses against GL-0817 were also seen. It will be important to continue to follow the patients to monitor their future progress.”
About Gliknik’s Immunomodulator PlatformThe immunomodulator platform is Gliknik’s most clinically advanced program with compounds currently in multiple-dose studies in patients with advanced cancers, including multiple myeloma and head and neck cancers. Gliknik immunomodulators are designed to train the immune system to target tumor cells bearing MAGE-A3 and HPV16 epitopes respectively.
About Gliknik Inc.Founded in 2007, Gliknik is a biopharmaceuticals company creating new therapies for patients with cancer and immune disorders. Gliknik expertise is in modulation of the immune system to fight disease. In addition to the stradomerTM program for autoimmune diseases, Gliknik also has commercial rights to two cancer immunomodulator drugs that are in multiple-dose clinical trials in patients with advanced head and neck cancer and in patients with advanced multiple myeloma. Learn more at www.gliknik.com .
SOURCE Gliknik Inc.
Other ASH results in the news include an article in HemOnctoday, published by the American Society of Hematology, touting the potential of Millennium’s MLN9708. Here’s an excerpt and link to that:
Proteasome inhibitor shows promise in multiple myeloma
December 10, 2012
ATLANTA — The addition of the investigational oral proteasome inhibitor MLN9708 to standard multiple myeloma therapy increases the efficacy of treatment with few adverse effects, according to results presented at the 2012 ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition.
The high response rates associated with the bortezomib (Velcade, Millennium Pharmaceuticals), lenalidomide (Revlimid, Celgene) and dexamethasone regimen confirm the efficacy of combining a proteasome inhibitor with an immunomodulatory agent for patients with previously untreated multiple myeloma…
Shaji K. Kumar, MD, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and colleagues conducted a phase 1/phase 2 study to assess the efficacy, safety profile and proper dosage of MLN9708 (Millennium) when combined with lenalidomide and dexamethasone in patients with previously untreated multiple myeloma…
Based on the results of the phase 1/phase 2 study, researchers proceeded with two phase 3 trials.
The first will examine MLN9708 plus lenalidomide and dexamethasone vs. dexamethasone alone in patients with relapsed and/or refractory multiple myeloma. This trial is currently enrolling.
The second will examine MLN9708 plus lenalidomide and dexamethasone in previously untreated patients with multiple myeloma…
Read the entire report by CLICKING HERE.
This is an exciting time in myeloma research. I get the feelings that if researchers can catch a break or two, significant progress can and will be made in time to help many of us live longer–a lot longer. And not just low risk myeloma patients. High risk patients, too!
More examples of how and why tomorrow.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat