Highlight Therapeutics: Positive Phase 2b results in 2nd line melanoma

Highlight Therapeutics presents a medical breakthrough at the SITC oncology congress, being the first time that a drug shows a positive result in immunology-resistant melanoma patients

  • BO-112 demonstrates potential as best-in-class therapy to overcome anti-PD1 resistance in melanoma patients whose disease has progressed on prior anti-PD1 treatment
  • Primary endpoint met with a 27% Overall Response Rate (ORR), 8% Complete Responses (CR) & 65% Disease Control Rate (DCR) substantially exceeding current standard of care; further improvements anticipated over one year follow up
  • Hard-to-treat mucosal melanoma patients achieved 66% ORR and 100% DC
  • Durable responses and manageable safety profile, with no patients discontinuing due to adverse events
  • Preparation for pivotal trial based on FDA guidance underway; potential for use in multiple solid cancers resistant to anti-PD1 inhibitors, and with different anti-PD1 combinations

MADRID, Spain, Nov. 12, 2021Highlight Therapeutics, (“Highlight”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing RNA-based therapies against cancer, today announced positive preliminary results of a Phase 2 study of intratumoral administration of BO-112 with pembrolizumab in patients with advanced melanoma whose disease had progressed on first-line anti-PD1-based therapy. BO-112 is a dsRNA agonist targeting anti-PD1 resistance, which has been successfully tested in several previous Phase 1b studies.

Initial results of the study were presented today (12th November) in a late-breaking session at The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 36th Annual Meeting in Washington DC, Nov. 10-14, 2021. (LBA Poster Abstract (961): Preliminary results of a phase 2 study of intratumoral administration of BO-112 with pembrolizumab in patients with advanced melanoma that have progressive disease on anti-PD-1-based therapy, presented in the Poster Hall in Washington, D.C. and the virtual ePoster Hall beginning Friday, Nov. 12 at 7 a.m. EST).

“These are potentially game-changing results showing that BO-112 can rescue melanoma patients who have failed first-line immune-therapy with anti-PD1,” said Dr Carlos Paya, Executive Chairman of Highlight Therapeutics. “Anti-PD1 based immunotherapy has revolutionized oncology treatments, but only a fraction of patients initially respond and many of these patients progress thereafter. These initial Phase 2 results show that BO-112 combined with a leading PD1 inhibitor rescue around 65% of anti-PD1 failing patients, making many of them respond to the combined treatment. These much-anticipated outcomes demonstrate BO-112’s potential as a best-in-class therapy for melanoma patients whose disease has progressed on prior anti-PD1 treatment, and we now look forward to further clinical studies, not only in melanoma but in other major tumor types in which anti-PD1 resistance is also an issue.”

Anti-PD1 therapies are valued at approximately $24 billion1 and are used across most solid tumors but currently fewer than 20% of all cancer patients benefit from first-line anti-PD1 treatment. BO-112 in combination with anti-PD1 therapy is designed to resensitize tumors to anti-PD1 treatment through improved antigen presentation, enhanced T-cell infiltration and increased MHC-1 and PDL1 expression by the tumor itself.

This initial data is very encouraging and has the potential to change medical practice,” said Dr. Marisol Quintero, CEO of Highlight Therapeutics. “The preliminary ORR of 27%, including 8% Complete Responses, already exceeds current standard of care, such as the use of anti-CTLA-4. Based on the mode of action and experience from previous BO-112 Phase 1 studies, additional follow-up of these patients is expected to deliver further improvements in ORR. We are also encouraged by the excellent safety profile, with no patients discontinuing the study due to adverse events. Highlight Therapeutics is in the planning stage of a pivotal Phase 3 trial, due to begin in 2022, and we look forward to opening discussions with potential partners to explore combinations with anti-PD1s.”

More info in highlighttherapeutics.com

Source: Globenewswire