Targovax has announced that the first patient has been dosed with cancer vaccine TG01 in the combination study with PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor (CPI) balstilimab in mutant RAS pancreatic cancer in the USA.
The study is led by gastrointestinal cancer expert Dr. Anup Kasi in a three-way clinical collaboration between Kansas University Cancer Center (KUCC), Agenus and Targovax, and represents the first time a patient is given the enhanced TG01 vaccine with immune-stimulatory adjuvant QS-21 STIMULON from Agenus.
About the study
In this study, 24 pancreatic cancer patients who have detectable tumor DNA in the blood following surgery and follow-up treatment will be randomly allocated to either TG/QS-21 vaccination alone or vaccination combined with PD-1 CPI balstilimab. The aim is to evaluate whether mutant RAS T-cell responses generated by TG01, and further boosted by QS-21 STIMULON and balstilimab, may have the potential to eliminate remaining cancer cells to prolong time to relapse and extend patient survival.
“Having the first patient dosed in the Kansas study represents a major milestone for our mutant RAS program. It is the first time we test the TG01 cancer vaccine with adjuvant QS-21 STIMULON, the first time we combine TG01 with a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, and the first time TG01 enters the clinic in the USA. The scientific rationale behind the study is solid, and we believe minimal residual disease after surgery in pancreatic cancer is the ideal setting to test it. If successful, this can provide the first RAS-targeted therapy in pancreatic cancer,” says Dr Lone Ottesen, Chief Medical Officer of Targovax ASA.