Experimental Glioblastoma Therapy Has Promise in Treatment-Resistant Cancers

May 30, 2020

An experimental glioblastoma therapy with promising 12-month results may also have potential with other treatment-resistant cancers, according to Jeffrey Skolnick, MD, vice president, clinical development, Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. Results are being presented during the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2020 annual meeting.

An experimental glioblastoma therapy with promising 12-month results may also have potential with other treatment-resistant cancers, according to Jeffrey Skolnick, MD, vice president, clinical development, Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Transcript

Inovio's experimental therapy, INO-5401, in combination with PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor cemiplimab has shown promising results in glioblastoma. When can we expect to learn about 18-month findings?

So, we're really excited about our 18 months is overall survival data. As we've just released the overall survival data at 12 months, we anticipate that by the end of this year, certainly fall, winter time, we will have all of the data for our 18-month overall survival. And that's really exciting to us.

If the 18-month findings are as promising as the 12-month findings, then what are the next steps?

So, we're very excited to really move on to a more pivotal study, where we'll be speaking with our potential partners. With this study, we're collaborating with Regeneron and cemiplimab, that PD-1 inhibitor that we are utilizing; we hope to continue those conversations with our collaborator, and we will move to designing a larger study and one that potentially will bring benefit to more patients.

Is there the potential for the combination of Inovio's experimental therapy, INO-5401, and immunotherapy to work in other treatment-resistant cancers the way you've shown it can work in glioblastoma?

It's key that INO-5401 is made up of 3 different DNA plasmids, which makeup the 5401 DNA medicine. These 3 plasmids are proteins that are often overexpressed in human tumors. It is true that specifically for glioblastoma, these particular proteins are important. For example, human telomerase is often overexpressed, if not almost always, overexpressed in glioblastoma.

But the same can be said for the other 2 proteins WT1 or Wilms’ tumor 1 protein, as well as for prostate specific membrane antigen. And so together, we really do have a program that has the opportunity to be studied in many other human cancers.

Final thoughts?

First, thank you very much for allowing me to share my excitement about Inovio’s therapies. I think that Inovio’s DNA medicines really have the opportunity to change the way we are treating not only patients with cancer but patients with precancerous conditions, potentially infectious diseases, as well. And we're really excited about the immunology to safety but most importantly, the efficacy data that we are seeing from our programs.

Reference

INO-5401 and INO-9012 delivered intramuscularly (IM) with electroporation (EP) in combination with cemiplimab (REGN2810) in newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM): interim restuls. J Clin Oncol. 2020; 38(suppl; astr 2514): doi: 10.1200/JCO.2020.38.15_suppl.2514