DANVERS, Mass. – Admune Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing cytokine drugs for cancer immunotherapy, announced today that enrollment has initiated in a Phase I clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of its lead compound hetIL-15 (IL15:IL15Ra). Prior studies indicate hetIL-15 expands and activates relevant populations of lymphocytes, the white blood cells involved in immune system regulation. The trial will be conducted through the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health.
“Data from pre-clinical studies suggests that hetIL-15 may have broad applications for cancer immunotherapy in combination with immune checkpoint blockers and / or Antibody-Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity (ADCC). Pre-clinical studies of hetIL-15 have demonstrated the protein’s role in the development, survival and proliferation of many lymphocyte cells including natural killer and CD8+ T-cells,” said Dr. George N. Pavlakis, lead scientist for the hetIL-15 project at NIH. A recombinantly engineered human protein, hetIL-15 stimulates lymphocytes to higher levels to efficiently attack cancerous tumor cells that often go undetected by the body’s immune system.
“We are very excited to move forward with what we feel will be a significant contribution to cancer immunotherapy and the treatment of cancer patients. Our company has spent more than a decade researching cytokines for oncology and we are very pleased with the pre-clinical data on hetIL-15 thus far,” said Sergio Finkielsztein, CEO of Admune Therapeutics.
The Admune sponsored trial through the NIH will focus on dose escalation to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of hetIL-15 in humans. The clinical trial will be directed by Dr. Kevin C. Conlon, Dr. Thomas A. Waldmann and Dr. George Pavlakis. Further information can be found on ClinicalTrials.gov, using Identifier NCT02452268.
About Admune Therapeutics
Admune Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company, was founded by a highly experienced team of scientists and business people with a proven track record in producing successful biomedical products. Admune Therapeutics is affiliated with Marine Polymer Technologies, Inc. (MPT), a provider of groundbreaking medical solutions focused in the areas of hemostasis and wound healing. Admune Therapeutics is engaged in a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute to conduct R&D and commercialize innovative cytokine cancer therapies that will benefit human health. For more information, visit http://admune.com/