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Genprex doses first patient in Acclaim-3 study of Reqorsa Immunogene Therapy in combo with Tecentriq to treat small cell lung cancer

Austin, Texas
Wednesday, May 15, 2024, 18:00 Hrs  [IST]

Genprex, Inc., a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing life-changing therapies for patients with cancer and diabetes, announced that the first patient has been enrolled and dosed in the company’s phase 1 dose escalation portion of the Acclaim-3 clinical study of Reqorsa (quaratusugene ozeplasmid) Immunogene Therapy in combination with Genentech’s Tecentriq to treat patients with extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (ES-SCLC).  

“We are excited to take this next step in our fight against lung cancers as we work to advance an innovative therapy that we believe provides hope to patients suffering with ES-SCLC, an especially aggressive form of lung cancer that has extremely limited treatment options,” said Ryan Confer, president and chief executive officer at Genprex. “With a median progression free survival (PFS) of 5.2 months, ES-SCLC has a particularly poor prognosis. Additionally, patients receiving Tecentriq as maintenance therapy have a median PFS of 2.6 months after the start of maintenance therapy. With such limited benefit from current treatments, we believe the combination of Reqorsa and Tecentriq can provide a promising new therapeutic option for the treatment of small cell lung cancer.”

“The phase 1 dose escalation portion of the Acclaim-3 study is expected to determine the maximum tolerated dose for the phase 2 expansion study,” stated Mark Berger, M.D., chief medical officer of Genprex. “The favourable results from our phase 1 Acclaim-1 study in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) enabled us to shorten the phase 1 portion of Acclaim-3. This should allow us to complete the phase 1 portion of the study during the second half of 2024 and to advance more quickly into the phase 2 expansion portion of Acclaim-3 in the second half of 2024. We look forward to providing study updates as we advance this potentially life-saving therapy to benefit patients battling ES-SCLC.”

Genprex has a novel cancer treatment platform that re-expresses tumour suppressor genes in cancers. Tumour suppressor genes are often deleted or inactivated early in the process of cancer development. Reqorsa contains a plasmid that expresses TUSC2, a tumor suppressor gene protein. Nearly 100% of SCLCs have reduced or no TUSC2 protein expression, and 41% completely lack TUSC2 protein expression. Nonclinical studies in mice support the hypothesis that re-expressing the TUSC2 protein may lead to improved clinical efficacy in combination with Tecentriq.

The Acclaim-3 clinical trial is a phase 1/2 open-label, dose escalation and clinical response study of maintenance therapy evaluating Reqorsa in combination with Tecentriq in patients with ES-SCLC. The Acclaim-3 clinical trial will enroll patients who did not develop tumour progression after receiving Tecentriq and chemotherapy as standard initial treatment, and who are therefore eligible for maintenance therapy.

The phase 1 dose escalation portion of the Acclaim-3 clinical study is expected to enroll up to 12 patients at approximately ten US clinical sites to determine the Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD). If no dose limiting toxicities occur during the phase 1 study, the highest dose evaluated will be the Recommended phase 2 dose. The phase 2 portion of the study is expected to enroll approximately 50 patients at ten to fifteen US sites. Patients will be treated with Reqorsa and Tecentriq until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity is experienced. Genprex expects to initiate the phase 2 expansion study in the second half of 2024.

The primary endpoint of the phase 2 portion of the trial is to determine the 18-week progression-free survival rate from the time of the start of maintenance therapy with Reqorsa and Tecentriq treatment in patients with ES-SCLC. Patients will also be followed for survival. A phase 2 futility analysis will be performed after the 25th patient enrolled and treated reaches 18 weeks of follow up.

Genprex has received US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Ophran Drug and Fast Track designations for Reqorsa Immunogene Therapy, in combination with Genentech, Inc’s Tecentriq in patients with ES-SCLC who did not develop tumour progression after receiving Tecentriq and chemotherapy as initial standard treatment.

Reqorsa (quaratusugene ozeplasmid) Immunogene Therapy for NSCLC and SCLC consists of the TUSC2 gene expressing plasmid encapsulated in non-viral nanoparticles made from lipid-based molecules in a lipoplex form (Genprex’s Oncoprex Delivery System) with a positive electrical charge. Reqorsa is injected intravenously and specifically targets cancer cells, which generally have a negative electrical charge. Reqorsa is designed to deliver the functioning TUSC2 gene to cancer cells while minimizing their uptake by normal tissue. Reqorsa has a multimodal mechanism of action whereby it interrupts cell signalling pathways that cause replication and proliferation of cancer cells, re-establishes pathways for programmed cell death, or apoptosis, in cancer cells, and modulates the immune response against cancer cells. In addition, Reqorsa disrupts the metabolism of cancer cells by decreasing glycolysis and ATP production in cancer cells with decreased TUSC2.

Genprex’s strategy is to develop Reqorsa in combination with currently approved therapies and believes that Reqorsa’s unique attributes position it to provide treatments that improve on current therapies for patients with NSCLC, SCLC, and possibly other cancers.

Tecentriq is a registered trademark of Genentech, Inc.

Genprex, Inc. is a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing life-changing therapies for patients with cancer and diabetes. Genprex’s technologies are designed to administer disease-fighting genes to provide new therapies for large patient populations with cancer and diabetes who currently have limited treatment options.

 




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