BioLineRx has successfully completed the dose-escalation part of the Phase 1/2a clinical study for AGI-134, a novel compound that evokes a direct anti-tumor response, as well as a vaccine effect, via a unique, multi-arm mechanism that targets patient-specific tumor neoantigens. AGI-134 was found to be safe and well tolerated, with no serious drug-related adverse events or dose-limiting toxicities reported. The maximal tolerated dose was not reached and the recommended dose for part 2 of the study was determined.
The ongoing Phase 1/2a study is a multicenter, open-label study expected to take place at approximately 15 sites in the US, UK and Israel. The objectives of the study are to evaluate the safety and tolerability of AGI-134 at the recommended dose in multiple solid tumor types, to evaluate a wide array of biomarkers, and to validate AGI-134's mechanism of action. Furthermore, efficacy will be assessed by clinical and pharmacodynamic parameters. The dose-expansion part 2 of the study is expected to commence shortly.
"We are pleased with these initial safety results of the first-in-human clinical trial assessing AGI-134 for the treatment of solid tumors,” Prof. Mark Middleton of the University of Oxford, the study's principal investigator, said. “AGI-134 represents a new mechanistic class of cancer immunotherapies, with a unique and highly differentiated mode of action, harnessing pre-existing immune machinery to trigger a systemic anti-tumor response and create a pro-inflammatory tumor microenvironment. We expect the mechanistic assessments performed during the study to further elucidate and confirm AGI-134's activity. These assessments are ongoing and will be extended during part 2 of the study."
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"We are excited with the positive results of the first part of the Phase 1/2a of our second lead oncology asset," said Philip Serlin, Chief Executive Officer of BioLineRx. "Numerous pre-clinical studies to date have demonstrated that treatment with AGI-134 leads to regression of established primary tumors, prevents growth of untreated distal secondary tumors, and triggers a vaccine effect that may prevent the development of future metastases. Following the FDA's recent IND approval for AGI-134, we plan to add sites in the US to the study, which is currently being conducted in the UK and Israel, by the first half of 2020. We are looking forward to initiating part 2 of the study shortly, with initial results expected by year-end 2020."
AGI-134 is a synthetic alpha-Gal glycolipid in development for solid tumors that is highly differentiated from other cancer immunotherapies. AGI-134 is designed to label cancer cells with alpha-Gal via intra-tumoral administration, thereby targeting the body's pre-existing, highly abundant anti-alpha-Gal (anti-Gal) antibodies and redirecting them to treated tumors. Binding of anti-Gal antibodies to the treated tumors results in activation of the complement cascade, which destroys the tumor cells and creates a pro-inflammatory tumor microenvironment that also induces a systemic, specific anti-tumor (vaccine) response to the patient's own tumor neo-antigens.
AGI-134 has been evaluated in numerous pre-clinical studies. In a mouse melanoma model, treatment with AGI-134 led to regression of established primary tumors and suppression of secondary tumor (metastases) development. Synergy has also been demonstrated in additional pre-clinical studies when combined with an anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, offering the potential to broaden the utility of such immunotherapies, and improve the rate and duration of responses in multiple cancer types. AGI-134 was obtained by BioLineRx through the acquisition of Agalimmune.