Oncolytics Biotech® Inc. today announced the publication of preclinical data demonstrating the synergistic anti-cancer activity of pelareorep combined with chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy in solid tumors. The paper, entitled “Oncolytic virus-mediated expansion of dual-specific CAR T cells improves efficacy against solid tumors in mice,” was published in Science Translational Medicine in collaboration with researchers at several prestigious institutions, including the Mayo Clinic and Duke University. A link to the paper can be found by clicking here.
“Having these results published in such a high-impact journal provides important external validation of their significance,” said Thomas Heineman, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. “While CAR T cells have generated long-term cures in hematologic malignancies1, the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironments (TMEs) of solid organ cancers have thus far limited their efficacy in these indications. Pelareorep has repeatedly been shown to reverse immunosuppressive TMEs, and in the present publication pelareorep is shown to enable the effectiveness of CAR T cells in multiple murine solid tumor models. This is a powerful finding that, if translated to the clinic, could significantly improve the prognosis of patients with a variety of highly prevalent cancers by providing a novel and potentially durable treatment option. By demonstrating the ability to improve T cell perseverance, reduce antigen escape, and overcome challenging solid tumor TMEs, the inclusion of pelareorep addresses the three most challenging roadblocks to effective CAR T therapy.”
Andrew de Guttadauro, President of Oncolytics Biotech U.S. and Global Head of Business Development, added, “Despite revolutionizing the treatment of certain cancers and surpassing a billion dollars in sales last year, CAR T therapies currently only serve a small subset of patients suffering from hematologic malignancies. With these latest results, we now have strong preclinical evidence that pelareorep can fully unlock the value of CAR T therapies by expanding their commercial potential to the significantly larger market of cancer patients who are battling solid tumors.”
Preclinical studies published in the paper evaluated the persistence and efficacy of pelareorep-loaded CAR T cells (“CAR/Pela therapy”) in multiple murine solid tumor models. The effects of combining CAR/Pela therapy with a subsequent intravenous dose of pelareorep (“pelareorep boost”) were also investigated. Key data and conclusions from the paper include:
• The persistence and anti-cancer activity of CAR T cells improved drastically when loaded with pelareorep. Compared to either treatment alone, treatment with CAR/Pela therapy led to statistically significant survival benefits in murine skin and brain cancer models.
• CAR/Pela therapy followed by a pelareorep boost led to enhanced efficacy in murine skin and brain cancer models and tumor cures in >80% of treated mice in each model.
• Loading CAR T cells with pelareoep led to improved cancer cell targeting and prevented antigen escape in vivo by generating CAR T cells with dual specificity that target their designed antigen and the native T cell receptor antigen. These results indicate that CAR/Pela therapy may provide longer-lasting therapeutic benefits compared to treatment with CAR T cells alone.
Dr. Matt Coffey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Oncolytics Biotech Inc. and co-author of the paper commented, “These exciting results are an excellent example of how we are leveraging collaborations with key opinion leaders and premier research institutions to broaden pelareorep’s potential therapeutic impact. This allows us to remain primarily focused on our lead breast cancer program, which has shown how pelareorep’s ability to promote tumor T cell infiltration leads to synergy with checkpoint inhibitors in the clinic. These newly published preclinical findings show pelareorep’s synergistic benefits extend even beyond checkpoint inhibitors and highlight an opportunity to increase our addressable patient population. As we pursue this opportunity moving forward, we intend to utilize relationships with academic or industry partners so that we can continue to execute on our clinical and corporate objectives with efficiency.”