Authored by Karl Simpson
Immunomedics Inc. is a biotech company developing products to address cancer and autoimmune diseases. They have a number of products in clinical development from Phase I to Phase III. Currently they have Epratuzumab being developed for Lupus (in partnership with UCB) and Lymphoma. Y-90 Clivatuzumab in Pancreatic Cancer and also Veltuzumab in NHL and through partnership with Takeda, in ITP and RA.
Immunomedics CEO, Cynthia Sullivan, recently updated on how the company is progressing with its antibody drug conjugate programmes. She stated that the Phase Ib trial of 90Y-clivatuzumab tetraxetan in patients with advanced, third-line, pancreatic cancer is reaching completion of follow-up and survival results continue to be analyzed. This trial compared clivatuzumab alone to the combination of clivatuzumab with low-dose gemcitabine in an open-label, randomized trial.
Sullivan added “Although we have three ADC’s in clinical development, recent results with the two being studied in patients with advanced solid tumors, particularly metastatic colorectal and triple-negative breast cancers, are particularly encouraging,” Sullivan remarked. She added that “tumor shrinkage, including partial responses determined by RECIST criteria, was achieved in dose-escalation trials of IMMU-130 and IMMU-132 ADC product candidates.”
Both ADC product candidates involve SN-38, the active metabolite of irinotecan (used to treat metastatic colorectal and other solid cancers), conjugated by the Company’s proprietary technology to labetuzumab (anti-CEACAM5 humanized monoclonal antibody; IMMU-130) or the anti-TROP-2 humanized antibody, hRS7 (IMMU-132). Whereas IMMU-130 is being studied in advanced colorectal cancer patients who have failed irinotecan therapy, IMMU-132 is being tested in 13 cancer types, including colorectal, triple-negative breast, bladder, pancreas, prostate, kidney, and ovarian cancers.
“Since we have seen tumor shrinkage, including partial responses, so early in these trials, and that SN-38 bound to two different antibodies has been active, our confidence is increased regarding the future potential of these ADC candidates for treating these major cancer types after they become refractive to conventional chemotherapeutic agents,” Sullivan stated. “The major toxicities, to date, have been diarrhoea and neutropenia, which generally can be alleviated by other medications, and these appear to be less frequent and milder than with irinotecan therapy,” she remarked further.