Advaxis and Merck have formed a partnership to conduct a clinical trial with their experimental prostate cancer drugs
Advaxis and Merck have formed a partnership to test their experimental prostate cancer drugs, ADXS-PSA and anti PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab, to see if the combination of these two drugs will yield psoitive results in a phase I/II trial in prostate cancer patients who have shown resistant to treatments after castration.
Advaxis’s drug ADXS-PSA is an immunotherapy that targets Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA), an antigen whose presence is thought to be an indicator of prostate cancer. The Merck drug, pembrolizumab, is a monoclonal antibody which reactivates anti-tumour immunity in the body and suppresses PD-1 (programmed cell-death.)
These drugs are known as immunotherapies because they stimulates the body’s own immune system to fight cancer. Based on preclinical studies, Advaxis believes that the combination of theirs and Merck’s drug will boost the anti-cancer immune response in prostate cancer patients.
The agreement details that Advaxis will fund both phase I and II of the clinical trials. The first phase will aim to establish dosage requirements of ADXS-PSA as a treatment on its own, as well as in combination with Merck’s drug. The second phase will analyse the efficacy of the two drugs combined.
Phase I clinical trials will are set to commence in early 2015.
Many partnerships such as this one are beginning to emerge amongst large pharmaceutical companies, such as Advaxis’s partnership with MedImmune to investigate a combination treatment for HPV related head and neck cancer, and cervical cancer.
Read more about it here: Merck And Advaxis Partner In Prostate Immunotherapy Trial