Uppsala, Sweden, January 19, 2017 - The first patient has been treated with LOAd703 at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. LOAd703 is an immunostimulating oncolytic adenovirus developed by Lokon Pharma. The study is enrolling patients with pancreatic cancer who are not eligible for surgical resection. Patients will receive six intratumoral injections of LOAd703 in combination with standard gemcitabine-based chemotherapy. The primary endpoints of the study are safety and feasibility.
“There is increasing demand for novel therapeutics targeting pancreatic cancer. So far, checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapies have not yielded the impressive results in pancreatic cancer that they have in other malignancies” says Dr. Benjamin Musher, Principal Investigator of LOKON-001 at Baylor College of Medicine. He continues, “This engineered virus, however, acts like a Trojan horse by infiltrating tumor cells and altering the desmoplastic and immunosuppressive microenvironment that protect them from antineoplastic agents. We hope that this virus will demonstrate local therapeutic benefit by triggering a systemic immune response, and attack distant metastases as well.”
“LOAd703 is designed to kill tumor cells, but not normal cells, by a process called oncolysis,” explains Dr Angelica Loskog, CEO of Lokon. “What is special with our virus is that it is armed with two potent human immunostimulatory genes that can activate the body’s immune system to attack the tumor. Further, these stimulators have the capacity to change the tumor’s microenvironment so the tumor becomes more sensitive to cancer therapeutics in general,” she continues. Previous data generated at Uppsala University, Sweden with a predecessor virus, AdCD40L, showed promising results in patients with malignant melanoma earlier this year (Loskog et al Br J Cancer 2016). Lokon’s new optimized virus has been designed to provide more potent viral uptake, enhanced immune activation, and alteration of the tumor’s hostile microenvironment.
Angelica Loskog, Ph.D., Professor
CEO Lokon Pharma AB
Lokon Pharma AB is a Swedish biotech company focusing on the development of novel immunotherapeutics. It is a subsidiary of Nexttobe AB and its science derives from research ongoing at Uppsala University.