Jan 10, 2022 (Financial News Media via COMTEX) -- FN Media Group Presents USA News Group News Commentary
Vancouver, BC -January 10, 2021 – USA News Group – Nearly 10% of the estimated ~1.9 million new cancer cases in the USA will be diagnosed as leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. According to analysts at Markets and Markets, the leukemia therapeutics market is projected to reach US$17.1 billion by 2024 , growing at a CAGR of 6.8%. Along the way, there have been several positive developments in the fight against blood cancers including more recent updates from Oncolytics Biotech Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204741333/composite ONCY -1.74% /zigman2/quotes/203812837/delayed CA:ONC +0.68% , AbbVie Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202428675/composite ABBV +1.28% , Novartis AG /zigman2/quotes/203243705/composite NVS +2.32% , Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. /zigman2/quotes/201150432/composite TMO -0.38% , and NeoGeonomics, Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202492506/composite NEO -8.52% .
Through treatment with its flagship immunotherapeutic agent pelareorep, Oncolytics Biotech Inc. /zigman2/quotes/204741333/composite ONCY -1.74% /zigman2/quotes/203812837/delayed CA:ONC +0.68% recently announced preclinical data demonstrating the drug's synergistic anti-leukemic effects when combined with the chemotherapeutic agent azacytidine.
“These compelling preclinical findings , together with previously reported data demonstrating clinical proof-of-concept in multiple myeloma, indicate that pelareorep’s immunotherapeutic effects extend across multiple hematological malignancies,” said Thomas Heineman, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Clinical Development and Operations at Oncolytics. “They also further highlight pelareorep’s potential to enhance the efficacy of a wide range of cancer therapeutics and have stimulated interest in investigator-sponsored clinical studies of pelareorep in leukemia.”
Pelareorep has demonstrated synergies with immune checkpoint inhibitors and may also be synergistic with other approved oncology treatments, as indicated with these latest preclinical results.
Compared to either treatment alone, treatment with pelareorep plus azacitidine led to a statistically significant reduction (p<0.01) in tumor burden in a leukemia xenograft mouse model.
Compared to either treatment alone, treatment with pelareorep plus azacitidine led to a statistically significant (p<0.001) synergistic enhancement of anti-leukemic activity against AML cell lines, a benefit that was confirmed in AML patient samples in vitro.
The combination of pelareorep and azacitidine dramatically upregulated multiple genes known to drive anti-cancer immune responses such as IFNB1, BATF2, IL-12B, CCL2, TLR3, and PD-L1.
The intravenously delivered pelareorep induces anti-cancer immune responses and promotes an inflamed tumor phenotype--turning “cold” tumors “hot”--through innate and adaptive immune responses to treat a variety of cancers.
Oncolytics is currently conducting and planning clinical trials evaluating pelareorep in combination with checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapies in solid and hematological malignancies as it advances towards a registration study in metastatic breast cancer.
For certain leukemia patients, new research is confirming long remissions after treatment with the drug ibrutinib from AbbVie Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202428675/composite ABBV +1.28% along with chemotherapy.
The study involved 85 patients (all 65 or younger) with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), with 46 patients exhibiting more aggressive, unmutated IGHV subtype of the disease.
“Patients with lower-risk CLL, which is marked by mutated IGHV genes, can gain long remissions from a six-month regimen known as FCR - for the chemotherapy drugs fludarabine and cyclophosphamide and the antibody therapy rituximab,” said Dr. Matthew Davids, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. “Our study examined whether a time-limited course of ibrutinib given in combination with FCR can provide lasting remissions for patients with CLL regardless of whether they have the IGHV-mutated or -unmutated subtype.”
The study's participants received ibrutinib for seven days, followed by a combination of ibrutinib and FCR for up to six months. They continued to receive ibrutinib alone for two more years, and stopped taking the drug when they had no detectable leukemia cells in their bone marrow after the two years.
Novartis AG /zigman2/quotes/203243705/composite NVS +2.32% is moving forward with its cancer development efforts, having recently shared positive results from two ongoing trials for lymphoma and leukemia.
During the company's Phase III ASCEMBL study of Scemblix (asciminib) on patients diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia in the chronic phase, the drug showed that it was able to hold out longer before a follow up is needed compared to Bosulif (bosutinib).
In comparison, Scemblix delivered a major molecular response (MMR) rate of 29.3% at 48 weeks versus 13% for those who received Bosulif.
The findings at week 48 were consistent with a doubling of the drug’s efficacy at week 4, where it logged a 25% MMR against Bosulif’s 13%. In addition, patients experienced fewer adverse reactions in the Scemblix group at 7.1% versus 25%.