Cellthera Presents Preclinical Data At SITC Using Argos' Individualized Immunotherapy

DURHAM, N.C., Nov. 18, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Argos Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:ARGS) ("Argos"), an immuno-oncology company focused on the development and commercialization of individualized immunotherapies based on the Arcelis® technology platform, and its partner Cellthera Pharm ("Cellthera"), a subsidiary of Pharmstandard focused on personalized therapeutics, today announced the presentation of data on a murine ("mouse") model developed by Cellthera to determine functional activity of a therapy modeled after Argos' AGS-003 individualized immunotherapy. The data were presented at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 31 st Annual Meeting, which was held November 11-13 in National Harbor, Maryland.

The data presented demonstrated the favorable effects of the AGS-003-like therapy as a single agent and in combination with sunitinib and a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor in a murine model of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). "Our model provides some exciting survival data using an AGS-003-like therapy in a murine kidney cancer model that has proven useful in exploring combinations with other agents in a relevant preclinical setting," said Dr. Alexander Shuster, chairman of Cellthera.  In this experiment the agents were administered alone or together 7 days prior to the inoculation of tumor cells and then each group was followed for tumor reduction and survival.  Dr. Shuster continued, "The prophylactic mouse data show the superiority of the AGS-003-like therapy as a single agent versus control in both survival and enhanced control of tumor growth.  Furthermore, the AGS-003-like therapy when combined with sunitinib or a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor outperformed each agent alone, and the combination of all three therapies demonstrated the strongest survival advantage."

Argos is currently evaluating AGS-003 in combination with standard of care agents in the pivotal ADAPT Phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC). Enrollment in this 462-patient study was initiated in February 2013 and completed in July 2015. The Independent Data Monitoring Committee (IDMC) for this study most recently recommended continuation of the study following a meeting in June 2016, with the next IDMC meeting planned for February 2017. In addition, AGS-003 is being studied in Phase 2 investigator-initiated clinical trials as neoadjuvant therapy for RCC and for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

"These mouse data support the expectation of enhanced clinical benefit for the combination of AGS-003 with checkpoint inhibitors and, importantly, also show that amplified total tumor RNA is essential to the anti-tumor activity of Arcelis-derived dendritic cells," noted Dr. Charles Nicolette, chief scientific officer and vice president of research and development at Argos. "Additionally, the observation in mice that the AGS-003-like therapy and sunitinib are each active separately and lead to improved control of tumor growth when combined bodes well for our ongoing Phase 3 ADAPT trial in advanced renal cell carcinoma where AGS-003 is initially being combined with sunitinib."

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