Uppsala, Sweden, August 28, 2020. Lokon Pharma AB, a leading biotechnology company in the area of immunostimulatory gene therapy for cancer delivered by uniquely engineered oncolytic viruses, today announced an expansion of its current clinical collaboration with Roche to evaluate LOAd703, Lokon’s immunostimulatory armed gene therapy virus in combination with Tecentriq, Roche’s programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1)-blocking checkpoint inhibitor (CPI), in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).
“LOAd703 is based on an oncolytic adenovirus encoding two human immunostimulatory genes that may induce anti-tumor immune activation in so called immune “cold” tumors, which commonly do not respond to checkpoint inhibition therapy. Hence, LOAd703 may sensitize the patients to atezolizumab” says Dr. Angelica Loskog, the CEO of Lokon Pharma. She adds, “We are currently collaborating with Roche in studies evaluating LOAd703 combined with atezolizumab in patients with pancreatic cancer and malignant melanoma. We are excited to be expanding our combined efforts to test this unique combination regimen in subjects with colorectal cancer as well.”
Under the terms of the extension, Roche will be conducting an open-label, multicenter, randomized Phase 1b/2 study using its MORPHEUS platform. The MORPHEUS-CRC study will randomize CPI-naïve metastatic CRC patients who have received treatment with most available standard therapies to treatment with either LOAd703 plus Tecentriq or regorafenib.
Lokon Pharma AB is a Swedish biotech company developing the LOAd platform of oncolytic adenoviruses genetically engineered to express immunostimulatory genes in malignant tumors and tumor stroma. LOAd703 (delolimogene mupadenorepvec) is the first clinical candidate from the platform expressing TMZ-CD40L and 4-1BBL, two potent stimulators of dendritic cells as well as T- and NK cells, which play key roles in the induction of immune responses against cancer cells and supporting stroma as shown in the Figure. Currently, three clinical trials evaluating LOAd703 in patients with advanced pancreatic, biliary, colorectal, and ovarian cancers and malignant melanoma.