Oncolytics Biotech® Inc. has entered into a collaborative research project with cancer charity Myeloma UK and multi-national biotech firm Celgene.
In the joint initiative, Myeloma UK has launched MUK eleven, a first-of-its-kind immunotherapy trial that aims to modulate the immune system to target myeloma. The Phase 1b trial will study Oncolytics immuno-viral therapy and lead product REOLYSIN®, in combination with Celgene Corporation’s immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs), Imnovid® (pomalidomide) or Revlimid® (lenalidomide), as a rescue treatment in relapsing myeloma patients.
MUK eleven’s chief investigator Gordon Cook, consultant haematologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust says this trial is about taking a new approach by activating a patient’s own immune system to target their myeloma (immunotherapy) using a natural virus and lenalidomide or pomalidomide.
REOLYSIN will be combined with Celgene’s Imnovid® or Revlimid® in patients whose myeloma is progressing while on these IMiD treatments. The dose escalation trial will look at the safety and tolerability of these combinations, and will investigate whether the addition of REOLYSIN extends disease control in this patient group.
“This is an important collaboration for Oncolytics, as testing IMiD combinations with REOLYSIN is one of the three pillars of our clinical development plan,” adds Dr. Matt Coffey, president and CEO of Oncolytics. “We are eager to find out if REOLYSIN can enhance the benefits of these immune modulators and we are excited to start working with Myeloma UK and Celgene.”
The clinical study expands on earlier pre-clinical work by professor Cook that demonstrated that REOLYSIN has dual modes of action against multiple myeloma; being both directly cytotoxic and also activating immune effector cells to target and destroy cancer cells. Further, this immune-mediated activity can be enhanced by immunomodulatory agents to eliminate disease.
The trial will aim to recruit 44 patients across up to six Myeloma UK Clinical Trial Network centres in the UK. MUK eleven is part of the Myeloma UK Clinical Trial Network, a portfolio of early stage trials coordinated by the Clinical Trials Research Unit at the University of Leeds, focused on testing and speeding up access to promising new treatments for patients.
“We focus on strategic, collaborative and innovative approaches to delivering trials and treatments to patients,” said Myeloma UK Director of Research Dr. Simon Ridley. “Our Clinical Trial Network is focused on ensuring that patients now, and in the future, are getting access to the exciting new treatment combinations we are seeing coming down the line, and so we are pleased to launch this novel trial which focuses on a pivotal area of myeloma research.”
Oncolytics and Celgene UK & Ireland are providing their respective products for MUK eleven: Oncolytics Biotech Inc. is providing REOLYSIN and Celgene UK & Ireland is providing Imnovid® and Revlimid®.