Agenus' vaccine for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) performed well in a small single-arm study, giving the company hope that the treatment can help these patients soon.
A Phase II, single arm study of Agenus' Prophage vaccine, when added to the standard of care for this patient population helped extend patients' lives.
Specifically, it led to a median overall survival of about 24 months in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Half of the study's 46 participants survived for two years.
Standard of care alone typically leads to median overall survival of 14.6 months, with just 26 percent of patients making it to the two-year mark.
Of course a major limitation of this study is the fact that it is a single-arm study, which does little to excite regulators but might be enough to land Agenus a partner to help them develop a confirmatory phase III trial.
In its statement on the Phase II data, Agenus said that patient response to Prophage seemed particularly pronounced in those with under-expressed PDL-1 proteins, suggesting the vaccine could be an ideal complement to the much-hyped PD-1 immunotherapies under development by Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche and others.
Like previous therapeutic vaccines for cancer, Prophage is an individualized therapy derived from a patient's own resected tumor which is modified and returned to the body, where it is supposed to attack tumor cells.
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