BioLineRx announced the initiation of the triple combination arm of the Phase 2a COMBAT/KEYNOTE-202 study in patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer (PDAC) under its immuno-oncology collaboration with Merck. As previously announced, the triple combination arm will investigate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of BL-8040, KEYTRUDA and chemotherapy.
The triple combination arm will focus on second-line pancreatic cancer patients, and will include approximately 40 patients with unresectable metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma who have progressed following first-line therapy prior to enrollment. Patients will receive BL-8040 monotherapy priming treatment for 5 days, followed by ongoing cycles of the combination of chemotherapy (Onivyde/5-fluorouracil/leucovorin – 5-FU/LV), KEYTRUDA and BL-8040 until progression. The primary endpoint of the study is the objective response rate (ORR) assessed by RECIST v1.1 criteria. Secondary endpoints will include overall survival, progression free survival, and the disease control rate.
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"We are pleased to commence this triple combination arm of our Phase 2a pancreatic study, under the framework of our immuno-oncology collaboration with MSD," said Philip Serlin, Chief Executive Officer of BioLineRx. "We believe that the addition of chemotherapy may be synergistic with BL-8040 and KEYTRUDA, as chemotherapy has been shown to reduce overall tumor burden while inducing immunogenic cell death, leading to activation and expansion of new tumor-reactive T-cells. Based on its mechanism of action, we believe that BL-8040 may facilitate the infiltration of these T-cells into the tumor core, alongside the restoration of T-cell activity within the tumor by KEYTRUDA. We look forward to results of the study expected in the second half of 2019."
At the recent European Society for Medical Oncology 2018 Congress in Munich, Germany, BioLineRx disclosed top-line results from the dual combination arm of the Phase 2a COMBAT/KEYNOTE-202 study, evaluating PDAC patients treated with BL-8040 in combination with KEYTRUDA. The results show encouraging disease control and extended overall survival, particularly in patients undergoing second-line treatment. In addition, the data also demonstrate that BL-8040 significantly improves T-cell infiltration into the tumor and reduces immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment.