Ultimovacs has announced that its universal cancer vaccine, UV1, in combination with checkpoint inhibitors has received Fast Track designation from the U.S. FDA in the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma – either as add-on therapy to pembrolizumab or as add-on therapy to ipilimumab.
Ultimovacs is currently evaluating UV1 as add-on therapy to ipilimumab and nivolumab as first-line treatment for unresectable or metastatic melanoma in a Phase II study named INITIUM.
“We are delighted UV1 has received the Fast Track designation and look forward to working more closely with the FDA to bring UV1 to melanoma patients as soon as possible,” says Carlos de Sousa, Chief Executive Officer of Ultimovacs. “The FDA’s decision recognizes the potential synergy of UV1 and checkpoint inhibitors and will greatly encourage physicians and patients involved in our Phase II clinical trial INITIUM. We remain committed to progressing UV1 in our four ongoing Phase II clinical studies and assessing development of UV1 with pembrolizumab in advanced melanoma.”
Based on 2 separate Phase I trials
The Fast Track designation is based on data from two separate Phase I trials of UV1 in combination with checkpoint inhibitors, either with pembrolizumab (anti-PD-1) or with ipilimumab (anti-CTLA-4). According to data disclosed recently, UV1 in combination with pembrolizumab as a first-line treatment in advanced melanoma was shown to be safe with promising early efficacy data; an objective response rate (ORR) of 57% was reached with 30% of patients achieving a complete response (CR), or complete disappearance of their tumors. At 24 months follow up, 80% of patients were alive. In a second cohort, similar levels of tumor destruction were seen with 90% of patients remained alive after one year. Peer-reviewed data published in May 2021 in Frontiers in Immunology demonstrated that UV1 with ipilimumab was safe and showed signals of prolonged efficacy in advanced melanoma, the combination achieving ORR of 33% and 5-year overall survival (OS) rate of 50%.
UV1 is currently being investigated in combination with checkpoint inhibitors in four Phase II trials: in unresectable or metastatic melanoma, ovarian cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and malignant pleural mesothelioma.