Oncolytics Biotech has announced that cancer charity Myeloma UK launched MUK eleven, a first-of-its-kind immunotherapy trial that aims to modulate the immune system to target myeloma. The phase 1b trial will study immuno-viral therapy, Reolysin (pelareorep), in combination with Celgene Corporation's immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs), Imnovid (pomalidomide) or Revlimid (lenalidomide), as a rescue treatment in relapsing myeloma patients.
"This trial, the first of its kind, is a novel way of activating a patient's own immune system to target their myeloma (immunotherapy) using a natural virus and lenalidomide or pomalidomide, which could offer a new treatment strategy in myeloma," said MUK eleven chief investigator Gordon Cook, consultant haematologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.
In MUK eleven, Reolysin will be combined with Celgene's Imnovid or Revlimid in patients whose myeloma is progressing while on these IMiD treatments. The dose escalation trial will look at the safety and tolerability of these combinations, and will investigate whether the addition of Reolysin extends disease control in this patient group.
Dr. Adrian Kilcoyne, Celgene UK and Ireland Medical Director adds, "Celgene is delighted to be involved in this research with the Institute of Cancer Research, the University of Leeds, Myeloma UK and Oncolytics Biotech. We are committed to bold pursuits in science and this is evidence of how strong collaboration between academia, patient groups and industry can drive important scientific advances for patients."
This clinical study expands on earlier pre-clinical work by Professor Cook that demonstrates that Reolysin has dual modes of action against multiple myeloma; being both directly cytotoxic and also activating immune effector cells to target and destroy cancer cells. Further, this immune-mediated activity can be enhanced by immunomodulatory agents to eliminate disease.
"This is an important collaboration for Oncolytics, as testing IMiD combinations with Reolysin is one of the three pillars of our clinical development plan," said Dr. Matt Coffey, president and chief executive officer of Oncolytics. "We are eager to find out if Reolysin can enhance the benefits of these immune modulators and we are excited to start working with Myeloma UK and Celgene."
The trial will aim to recruit 44 patients across up to six Myeloma UK Clinical Trial Network centres in the UK. MUK eleven is part of the Myeloma UK Clinical Trial Network, a portfolio of early stage trials coordinated by the Clinical Trials Research Unit at the University of Leeds, focused on testing and speeding up access to promising new treatments for patients.
"We focus on strategic, collaborative and innovative approaches to delivering trials and treatments to patients," said Myeloma UK director of research Dr. Simon Ridley. "Our Clinical Trial Network is focused on ensuring that patients now, and in the future, are getting access to the exciting new treatment combinations we are seeing coming down the line, and so we are pleased to launch this novel trial which focuses on a pivotal area of myeloma research."