Berlin, Germany, 15 December 2016 NOXXON Pharma N.V. (Alternext: ALNOX) today announces the signature of a collaboration agreement with Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA (known as MSD outside the US and Canada), under which the two companies will collaborate in a phase 1/2 clinical trial of NOXXON’s anti-CXCL12 agent, NOX-A12, and MSD’s anti-PD-1 inhibitor, Keytruda® (pembrolizumab), in patients with metastatic solid tumors that do not usually respond to checkpoint inhibitor monotherapy.
The goal of the two-part, open-label phase 1/2 study is to evaluate pharmacodynamic effects and safety of NOX-A12 as a monotherapy in addition to safety and efficacy of NOX-A12 in combination with Keytruda® in patients with metastatic colorectal and pancreatic cancer. A total of twenty patients will be recruited, ten of each cancer type. NOXXON will be the sponsor of the study, which will be conducted in Europe.
The design of the clinical trial was a collaborative effort between NOXXON and MSD. Part 1 of the study, in which patients will receive NOX-A12 monotherapy for up to two weeks, will evaluate immune infiltrate changes within the tumor microenvironment induced by CXCL12 inhibition with NOX-A12 by comparing pre- and post-treatment biopsy specimens as well as the safety and tolerability of NOX-A12 in patients with metastatic (stage IV) colorectal and pancreatic cancer. Part 2 of the study, in which NOX-A12 is to be combined with Keytruda®, will assess the safety and tolerability of the combination in addition to the efficacy of treatment.
NOX-A12, which inhibits the key tumor microenvironment chemokine CXCL12, may be a key partner for a wide range of IO (immuno-oncology) agents. NOXXON has generated promising pre-clinical and clinical data, including recent animal data showing synergy with a checkpoint inhibitor, as well as recent phase 2a trials in multiple myeloma and a second hematological cancer that showed a safety profile that supports further development and first signs of efficacy. NOXXON believes that its planned clinical study will position the drug to be combined with multiple classes of IO approaches including those acting on or through T cells and/or NK cells.
Under the collaboration agreement, MSD will provide Keytruda® to NOXXON for the conduct of the trial and has approved the trial design. Multiple paths for further development of the combination in pivotal clinical trials are envisioned in this agreement, although the agreement grants no commercial rights to either party for the other party’s compound. Additional details were not disclosed.
Aram Mangasarian, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of NOXXON commented: “This collaboration with MSD allows us to initiate a clinical trial of NOX-A12 in patients with metastatic solid tumors with the advice and support of one of the key players in the immuno-oncology space. We are pleased that MSD shares our interest in the potential of the CXCL12 pathway to modulate the tumor microenvironment to increase the efficacy of checkpoint therapy.”
KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA.
For more information, please contact:
NOXXON Pharma N.V.
Aram Mangasarian, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer
Tel. +49 (0) 30 726 2470
Tel. +33 (0) 1 44 71 98 55
NOXXON Pharma N.V. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on cancer treatment. NOXXON’s goal is to significantly enhance the effectiveness of cancer treatments including immuno-oncology approaches (such as immune checkpoint inhibitors) and current standards of care (such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy). NOXXON’s Spiegelmer® platform has generated a proprietary pipeline of clinical-stage product candidates including its lead cancer drug candidate NOX-A12. NOXXON is supported by a strong group of leading international investors, including TVM Capital, Sofinnova Partners, Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners, DEWB, NGN and Seventure. NOXXON has its statutory seat in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and its office in Berlin, Germany. Further information can be found at: www.noxxon.com.