National Cancer Institute (NCI)-led research of PDS0301, a novel investigational tumor-targeting IL-12 fusion protein, shows dose-dependent, immune responses and association with improved clinical outcomes
FLORHAM PARK, N.J., March 01, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PDS Biotechnology Corporation (Nasdaq: PDSB), a clinical-stage immunotherapy company developing a growing pipeline of targeted immunotherapies for cancer and infectious disease, announced that clinical research conducted by the NCI, one of the Institutes of the National Institutes of Health, was published in the peer-reviewed journal, International Immunopharmacology. The clinical study assessed immune changes in relation to the dose level and dosing schedule of PDS0301 (NHS-IL12), a novel investigational fusion protein consisting of a tumor-targeting antibody conjugated to Interleukin 12 (IL-12). The study also evaluated the correlation of several treatment-related immunological changes with clinical responses.
As described in the paper, titled, “Immune correlates with response in patients with metastatic solid tumors treated with a tumor-targeting immunocytokine NHS-IL12,” the researchers at the NCI evaluated a subset of 23 patients with advanced cancers who participated in a Phase 1 clinical trial of PDS0301. Patients were dosed every 2 weeks with PDS0301 at one of two levels – 12.0 mcg/kg and 16.8 mcg/kg – or every 4 weeks at 16.8 mcg/kg to identify dosing amounts and regimens of PDS0301 that correlate with higher levels of immune activation, including quantities of CD8 T cells, immune suppressive T regulatory cells, natural killer cells (NK) and natural killer T cells (NKT).
Patients receiving the higher dose of PDS0301 generated “a more robust immune activation compared to a lower dose,” including a greater expansion of NK, NKT, and CD8 T cells. Additionally, patients treated with the higher dose at two-week intervals had a greater response than patients receiving treatment every four weeks in the study. Importantly, greater increases were seen at the higher dose level in the serum pro-inflammatory cytokines IFNγ and TNFα, and soluble PD-1 (sPD-1). Studies found that increases in sPD-1 post-therapy have been associated with improved survival in various cancers and may indicate re-activation of CD8 T cells.
The ability to limit exposure of IL-12 in the circulating blood, and to increase its presence within the tumors constitutes a significant advancement in the development of cytokine-based immunotherapy. “The research published by the NCI demonstrates the potential of PDS0301 as a tumor-targeting IL-12 and its ability to stimulate immune activation and increase the frequency of CD8 T cells and certain NK cell subsets to potentially overcome the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment,” stated Dr. Lauren V. Wood, Chief Medical Officer of PDS Biotech. “Importantly, this study appears to demonstrate the safety and tolerability of biologically active doses of PDS0301 and reports increases in specific immune cells that were associated with PDS0301 administration and improved clinical outcomes."
The publication also summarizes clinical results from a study combining PDS0301, with a checkpoint inhibitor and PDS0101, PDS Biotech’s HPV-targeted immunotherapy that has been shown to promote induction of multifunctional, tumor-infiltrating killer T-cells. In this study in advanced HPV-positive anal, cervical, head and neck, vaginal, and vulvar cancers patients with checkpoint inhibitor refractory disease, 63% of patients who received the 16.8 mcg/kg dose had an objective response.
PDS0301 is a novel investigational tumor-targeting Interleukin 12 (IL-12) that enhances the proliferation, potency and longevity of T cells in the tumor microenvironment. Together with Versamune® based immunotherapies PDS0301 works synergistically to promote a targeted T cell attack against cancers. PDS0301 is given by a simple subcutaneous injection. Clinical data suggest the addition of PDS0301 to Versamune® based immunotherapies may demonstrate significant disease control by shrinking tumors and/or prolonging survival in recurrent/metastatic cancers with poor survival prognosis.
About PDS Biotechnology
PDS Biotech is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company developing a growing pipeline of targeted cancer and infectious disease immunotherapies based on our proprietary Versamune®, PDS0301, and Infectimune™ T cell-activating platforms. We believe our targeted Versamune® and PDS0301 based candidates have the potential to overcome the limitations of current immunotherapy approaches through the activation of the right type, quantity and potency of T cells. To date, our lead Versamune® clinical candidate, PDS0101, has demonstrated the ability to reduce tumors and stabilize disease in combination with approved and investigational therapeutics in patients with a broad range of HPV16-associated cancers in multiple Phase 2 clinical trials. Our Infectimune™ based vaccines have also demonstrated the potential to induce not only robust and durable neutralizing antibody responses, but also powerful T cell responses, including long-lasting memory T cell responses in pre-clinical studies to date. To learn more, please visit www.pdsbiotech.com or follow us on Twitter at @PDSBiotech.
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