Novel Combination Therapy for HPV-Related Throat Cancer Enters Phase 3 Trial

Novel Combination Therapy for HPV-Related Throat Cancer Enters Phase 3 Trial$INO

A groundbreaking clinical collaboration has been initiated between INOVIO and Coherus BioSciences, Inc. to address the growing challenge of HPV-associated head and neck cancer. The partnership has launched a Phase 3 trial focusing on a novel combination therapy for patients with advanced stages of HPV16/18-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC), a severe form of throat cancer.

The study will assess the effectiveness of INO-3112, INOVIO’s DNA medicine candidate, when used in conjunction with LOQTORZI™ (toripalimab-tpzi), a PD-1 inhibitor from Coherus that has recently received approval for treating a related cancer type. This alliance aims to capitalize on the encouraging outcomes of previous studies, which indicate that the combination of INO-3112 with a PD-1 inhibitor may significantly boost the immune system’s capacity to fight HPV-related cancers.

Dr. Glenn Hanna of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, a prominent figure in cancer therapeutic research and the principal investigator of the trial, has expressed optimism regarding the potential of this innovative therapeutic strategy. The trial is designed to harness the body’s immune response to enhance clinical outcomes for those suffering from this virally induced cancer.

The President and Chief Executive Officer of INOVIO, Dr. Jacqueline Shea, shared her enthusiasm about the collaboration with Coherus and the prospects of advancing treatment options for HPV-related head and neck cancer. The company’s DNA medicines platform has demonstrated potential in producing tumor-specific T cells, which play a vital role in combating HPV-related diseases.

OPSCC, the primary concern of this trial, is a type of cancer that develops in the tongue’s base, tonsils, or soft palate. The prevalence of HPV-positive OPSCC is increasing in affluent nations, now exceeding cervical cancer as the leading HPV-related cancer in the United States. With approximately 20,000 new cases diagnosed annually, the urgency for effective treatments is clear. HPV is considered the cause of most oropharyngeal cancers in the US, with tobacco and alcohol use also contributing to some instances.

INO-3112, the DNA medicine candidate central to the trial, targets HPV 16/18 and includes a DNA plasmid for IL-12 to stimulate the immune system. Its ability to induce antigen-specific T cell generation and tumor infiltration may revolutionize the treatment of HPV-related cancers, especially when combined with other therapeutic agents.

Rosh Dias, M.D., Chief Medical Officer at Coherus, emphasized the strategic alignment of the partnership, underscoring the potential of toripalimab to aid patients with earlier-stage disease where current treatment options are scarce. The company’s ambition to broaden the application of toripalimab across different tumor types is in harmony with the objective of enhancing patient outcomes through the integration of innovative therapy combinations.

The alliance between INOVIO and Coherus signals a promising development in the battle against HPV-related throat cancer. The forthcoming Phase 3 trial is pivotal in evaluating the efficacy of the combined use of INO-3112 with LOQTORZI™, aiming to leverage the immune system’s natural defenses against this formidable illness. As the research advances, the medical community awaits with keen interest the potential influence this combination therapy may have on ameliorating the condition of patients with OPSCC.2024-01-11T10:23:35.687Z

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