TEL AVIV, Israel, Nov. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kitov Pharma Ltd. (“Kitov”) (NASDAQ/TASE: KTOV), a clinical-stage company advancing first-in-class therapies to overcome tumor immune evasion and drug resistance, today announced that the company and Bristol Myers Squibb have amended their Clinical Trial Collaboration and Supply Agreement to reflect the expansion of the planned Phase 1/2 clinical trial evaluating CM24 in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with a new cohort to also evaluate CM24 in patients with pancreatic cancer.
The Phase 1/2 clinical trial will evaluate CM24, a monoclonal antibody targeting CEACAM1, in combination with nivolumab (Opdivo®) in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. With this expansion, the trial is now also planned to evaluate CM24 in combination with nivolumab in addition to nab-paclitaxel (ABRAXANE®) in patients with pancreatic cancer.
In an initial Phase 1 study consisting of a monotherapy dose escalating IV administration of CM24 administered every two weeks, in 27 patients with advanced malignancies, CM24 was found to be safe and well-tolerated in all patients, with no discontinuations of study drug or dose limiting toxicities (up to 10mg/kg). In the efficacy evaluable patients (n=24), subjects were highly refractory to therapy, having received between two and eight prior therapies (with a median of four). Eight of the evaluable patients (33%) achieved stable disease, with most of these patients responding at the higher dose levels of 3mg/kg and 10mg/kg. Pharmacokinetic analysis revealed non-linearity, and modeling suggested that a higher dose level is required to achieve full saturation of CEACAM1 receptors.
“We are excited to announce this important expansion of our planned Phase 1/2 trial for CM24,” said Bertrand Liang, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Kitov. “Based on the encouraging Phase 1 results for CM24, which were presented in a poster presentation at this year’s American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2020 Virtual Scientific Program, we look forward to evaluating this compelling drug candidate at higher doses and in a larger clinical study. We anticipate starting this Phase 1/2 trial, which is being conducted with Bristol Myers Squibb, before the end of 2020. We expect the availability of top-line Phase 1 results from the study in the second half of 2021.”
The Phase 1/2 clinical study will encompass a dose escalation of CM24 from 10mg/kg to 20mg/kg with nivolumab for the treatment of refractory cancer patients with NSCLC, pancreatic cancer, ovarian carcinoma, melanoma or thyroid carcinoma, in order to determine a recommended Phase 2 dose. Subsequently, two expansion arms will be opened: the first in patients with NSCLC who have become refractory to first-line immunotherapy, and will receive CM24 in combination with nivolumab, and the second in metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma patients who have progressed after first-line chemotherapy treatment, and will receive CM24 in combination with nab-paclitaxel and nivolumab. Study endpoints will include both safety and preliminary efficacy in these refractory patients.
“Collaborating with Bristol Myers Squibb has allowed us to design a clinical study that reflects some of the most current available data in both NSCLC and pancreatic cancer,” noted Michael Schickler, Ph.D., Head of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs of Kitov. “CM24 targets CEACAM1, which has been found to be correlated with poor prognosis in these tumor types, and the creation of neoantigens with the use of a cytotoxic agent, such as nab-paclitaxel, could potentiate the activity of immuno-oncology agents. I would like to thank the respective teams at Kitov and Bristol Myers Squibb for their significant efforts in preparing for this important study and I look forward to the initiation of the study before the end of the year. Our focus is on efficiently advancing the program, and establishing CM24 as a potential first-in-class anti-CEACAM1 therapy.”