-- T-cell Redirecting Immunotherapy Enhanced With Interferon-α in Human Pancreatic and Gastric Cancer Models --
CHICAGO, June 1, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Immunomedics, Inc., (Nasdaq:IMMU) today reported the development of bispecific antibodies that redirect human T-cells to certain solid cancers.
T-cell redirected therapy of cancer is one of several new methods of cancer immunotherapy being studied both clinically and preclinically. In contrast to hematological tumors, little progress has been made in this approach to treat the more challenging solid cancers, including pancreatic and gastric cancers, two malignancies with very high rates of mortality.The Company has previously reported the development of (E1)-3s, a novel investigational T-cell redirecting bispecific antibody created using the Company's patented DOCK-AND-LOCK™ protein conjugation technology, for the potential treatment of pancreatic and gastric cancers. These and various other solid cancers express high-levels of TROP-2, a target recognized by the bispecific (E1)-3s, which also binds to the CD3 antigen on T cells. (E1)-3s has previously been shown to effectively induce a potent and specific T-cell-mediated killing of human pancreatic and gastric cancer cell lines. For more information on (E1)-3s, please refer to the Company's press release at http://www.immunomedics.com/pdfs/news/2014/pr04082014.pdf. In the current study, the effect of interferon-α (IFN-α), which has demonstrated clinical efficacy in multiple solid cancers, on the T-cell redirecting bispecific antibody was evaluated using animal models of human pancreatic or gastric cancer. In the gastric cancer model, treatment with a combination of IFN-α and (E1)-3s bispecific antibody was superior to the bispecific antibody alone ( p=0.0007) in delaying the out-growth of tumor. The combination also significantly delayed tumor growth in the pancreatic cancer model compared to all other treatment groups ( p<0.0007), including the IFN-α only treatment group. "We believe this is the first report of enhancing T-cell redirected cancer immunotherapy with an immunomodulatory cytokine, such as interferon," remarked Ms. Sullivan. "The challenge with this technology is to translate promising clinical effects found in leukemia and lymphomas to the more resistant solid cancers, and we have chosen to study two of the most lethal cancers, pancreatic and gastric cancers," she added.