Targovax announces publication of in vivo abscopal effect of ONCOS-102 and Keytruda combination


  •  Combination of ONCOS-102 and Keytruda reduces size of non-injected tumors  
  •  In vivo proof-of-concept of ONCOS-102 ability to generate systemic anti-tumor responses 

Oslo, Norway, 3 June 2019 – Targovax ASA (OSE: TRVX), a clinical stage biotechnology company developing immune activators to target hard-to-treat solid tumors, today announces that a study showing abscopal effect of ONCOS-102 and Keytruda combination treatment in a humanized mouse melanoma model has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Medical Virology. 

Targovax has previously published anti-tumor efficacy of ONCOS-102 as monotherapy as well as synergy with both chemotherapy and checkpoint inhibitors in mouse models. It has also been demonstrated in several different animal models how ONCOS-102 induces robust immune responses and can generate de novo tumor specific T-cells recognizing relevant cancer antigens.

In this latest publication, Targovax has been able to build on the previous immune activation and anti-tumor findings by showing that the combination of ONOCS-102 and Keytruda can generate systemic responses that reduce the size of non-injected lesions. The work was performed in a humanized melanoma mouse model with tumors inoculated dorsally on both sides of the animals. After the tumors were established, ONCOS-102 was injected directly into the tumor on one side only, followed by systemic treatment with Keytruda. By Day 40, tumors on the non-injected side of the animals had shrunk by an average of 70%. This confirms the hypothesis that ONCOS-102 is able to generate systemic immune responses, which can lead to abscopal anti-tumor effect of distal lesions that have not been injected with the virus.

Magnus Jäderberg, Chief Medical Officer of Targovax, said: “This in vivo demonstration of abscopal effect is an important validation of the proposed mechanism of action of ONCOS-102. By injecting the virus intra-tumorally, we see not only a local oncolytic effect at the injection site, but also a reduction of tumors in other locations. As such, these findings provide an in vivo proof-of-concept of ONCOS-102’s ability to generate systemic anti-cancer immune responses”

Publication title: Abscopal effect when combining oncolytic adenovirus and checkpoint inhibitor in a humanized NOG mouse model of melanoma

Link: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jmv.25501

For further information, please contact:
Renate Birkeli, Investor Relations
Phone: +47 922 61 624
Email: renate.birkeli@targovax.com

Media and IR enquires:
Andreas Tinglum – Corporate Communications (Norway)
Phone: +47 9300 1773
Email: andreas.tinglum@corpcom.no

About Targovax

Activating the patient’s immune system to fight cancer

Targovax (OSE:TRVX) is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company developing oncolytic viruses to target hard-to-treat solid tumors. Immuno-oncology is currently one of the fastest growing therapeutic fields in medicine.

Targovax’s lead product candidate, ONCOS-102, is a genetically modified oncolytic adenovirus, which has been engineered to selectively infect and replicate in cancer cells. It activates the immune system to generate tumor-specific immune responses. In a phase I monotherapy trial, ONCOS-102 induced both local and systemic innate and adaptive immune activation, with associated clinical benefit. In an ongoing phase I trial, patients who have progressed on anti-PD1 checkpoint inhibitors and treated with ONCOS-102 in combination with Keytruda, demonstrated responses in three of nine patients (33% ORR) including one complete response. ONCOS-102’s lead indication is mesothelioma, where the virus is currently being tested in a randomized phase I/II trial expected to report around new year 2019-20.