Elios Therapeutics Presents New Phase IIb Data for Personalized Cancer Vaccine in High-Risk Melanoma Patients at the 2020 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium
- Vaccine Was Most Effective in Stage IV Melanoma; 73 Percent of Patients Who Completed the Primary Vaccine Series Were Disease-Free at 24 Months -
- Results Reflect Synergistic Anti-Tumor Effect When Vaccine is Combined with Checkpoint Inhibitors -
AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Elios Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines, today announced that the Company presented a subgroup analysis of the prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase IIb clinical trial evaluating its personalized tumor lysate, particle-loaded, dendritic cell (TLPLDC) vaccine, in patients with Stage III and IV resected melanoma.
In the study, 144 participants were randomized to receive either the vaccine or placebo to prevent recurrence. The vaccines were initiated within three months of completion of standard of care therapy at 0, 1, 2, 6, 12, and 18 months. The protocol was amended to allow concurrent treatment with checkpoint inhibitors once approved for the adjuvant setting. The primary endpoint was 24-month disease-free survival (DFS). This pre-specified sub-group analysis examined efficacy by stage, immunotherapy, and checkpoint inhibition. The analysis was performed on the intent-to-treat (ITT) population and per treatment (PT) population, which included all patients who completed the primary TLPLDC or placebo vaccine series at six months.
In the PT analysis, 24-month DFS improved among Stage IV patients in the TLPLDC vaccine group compared to placebo (73.0% vs. 0%; p=0.002) representing a statistically significant and clinically meaningful reduction in the relative risk of disease recurrence for these patients. An improvement was also seen in the ITT analysis (43.0% vs. 0%; p=0.098). Stage IV patients were more likely to receive checkpoint inhibitor therapy (50% vs. 26%, p=0.003). At the 24-month assessment, a difference in DFS between the vaccine and placebo arms was not observed in Stage III patients. Patients with Stage III disease often take longer to experience a recurrence than patients with Stage IV disease, therefore a 36-month assessment of DFS will determine the effect of treatment in this population.
Additionally, while not statistically significant due to the sample size, a clinically meaningful improvement in 24-month DFS was observed between patients receiving the vaccine in combination with standard-of-care checkpoint inhibitors versus checkpoint inhibitors alone.
"Patients with Stage III and IV melanoma who have completed initial treatment have a very high risk of having their disease return, representing a serious unmet medical need," said Mark B. Faries, M.D., co-director of the Melanoma Program and head of Surgical Oncology at The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, an affiliate of Cedars-Sinai and principal investigator of the study. "Achieving a 73 percent disease-free survival rate in this extremely challenging stage of disease is significant. Importantly, in this study we see that checkpoint inhibitors, when combined with a cell-based vaccine like TLPLDC, may produce a synergistic anti-tumor response. The goal of this type of approach is to increase patient responses and prevent disease recurrence."
As previously reported, treatment with the TLPLDC vaccine was well-tolerated with 31.7 percent of placebo patients and 35.9 percent of TLPLDC patients experiencing a related adverse event, the majority of which were grade 1 or 2. The study will continue as designed to achieve the 36-month landmark secondary endpoints of DFS and overall survival (OS), which are anticipated in June 2020.
"Based on the encouraging data from this study, and recent End-of-Phase II discussions with the FDA, we are planning for a registration-enabling study of the TLPLDC vaccine in this high unmet need population of patients with Stage III and IV melanoma," said Buddy Long, chief executive officer of Elios Therapeutics. "We continue to focus on our mission to bring this safe and effective treatment to patients with melanoma as soon as possible."
The TLPLDC vaccine is a personalized treatment that is created using a patient's own blood and tumor cells. Samples are collected at resection, frozen, and sent to the lab where they are used to create autologous tumor lysate, which is loaded into yeast cell wall particles (YCWP). This combination is then introduced to the patient's dendritic cells, leading to the creation of the final TLPLDC vaccine. The time from resection to injection of the vaccine takes approximately three weeks.
Melanoma is more likely to grow and spread than other types of skin cancer. When diagnosed and treated at an early stage, melanoma has a high cure rate, however patients with later stages of the disease carry a high risk for melanoma recurrence because some melanoma cells can remain in the body, even after surgery. In the U.S, the incidence of melanoma has increased over the past decades, with 91,270 estimated new cases and 9,320 related deaths in 2018.1
Poster C10 (Abstract #63) – Multi-institutional, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase IIb trial of the tumor lysate, particle-loaded, dendritic cell (TLPLDC) vaccine to prevent recurrence in high-risk melanoma patients: a subgroup analysis. Friday, February 7, 2020 – Poster Session B at 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM EST and 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM EST
The poster can be accessed here.
About the Phase IIb TLPLDC Study
This Phase IIb study is a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the TLPLDC (tumor lysate, particle-loaded, dendritic cell) vaccine in patients with resected Stage III and IV melanoma. The primary endpoint of the trial is two-year disease-free survival (DFS).
In the study, 144 participants were randomized to receive either the vaccine or placebo to prevent recurrence. TLPLDC or placebo vaccines were initiated within three months of completion of standard of care (SoC) therapies and were given at 0, 1, 2, 6, 12, and 18 months. The protocol was amended to allow concurrent checkpoint inhibitor therapy once approved for the adjuvant setting. Study participants were followed for recurrence per SoC. The primary efficacy analysis was performed on the intent-to-treat (ITT) and the per treatment (PT) populations as co-primary analyses given the high early recurrence rate often seen in patients with advanced melanoma. Secondary endpoints include 36-month DFS and overall survival (OS) which will be compared between the vaccinated and control groups.
The TLPLDC (tumor lysate, particle-loaded, dendritic cell) vaccine is a unique type of immunotherapy, both in how it is made and how it is delivered. The vaccine is personalized, meaning it is made from a patient's tumor and blood. Every patient's tumor has a unique antigenic profile unlike any other, and dendritic cells found in the blood are the most potent antigen-presenting cells in the body. Once TLPLDC is administered, it delivers the patient's complete repertoire of tumor antigens to the immune system, creating a dual innate and adaptive immune response, activating fighter T cells, and triggering the immune system to recognize, and seek out and destroy any cells containing the antigens and specific mutations from their tumor.
Historically, autologous cancer vaccines have been rather onerous to develop, sometimes taking months between the tumor biopsy and administration. Elios has simplified the process so the time from resection to injection is approximately two weeks. This makes the vaccine highly feasible and will ultimately be easy for community and academic oncologists to adopt into their practices.
The TLPLDC vaccine is currently being studied as a monotherapy and in combination with standard-of-care checkpoint inhibitor therapies in a Phase IIb clinical trial for the treatment of late-stage melanoma at leading academic cancer centers in the United States.
About Elios Therapeutics, LLC
Elios Therapeutics, LLC, is a biopharmaceutical company developing a portfolio of innovative personalized therapeutic cancer vaccines targeting unmet medical needs across a broad range of tumor types. Elios' lead therapeutic candidate is the TLPLDC (tumor lysate, particle-loaded, dendritic cell) vaccine, a personalized therapeutic cancer vaccine that uses a proprietary particle delivery system to stimulate the body's immune system to recognize cancer cells as foreign pathogens and fight a patient's specific cancer. For more information, please visit www.eliostherapeutics.com.
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1 Siegel RL, Miller KD, Jemal A. Cancer statistics, 2018. CA Cancer J Clin 2018; 68:7–30_Accessed at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29313949
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