Berkeley, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/31/2017 -- BriaCell Therapeutics Corp ("BriaCell" or the "Company"), an immuno-oncology focused biotechnology company with a proprietary vaccine technology, announced today that the FDA has approved the roll-over combination study of BriaVax™ with pembrolizumab Keytruda; manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc. or ipilimumab Yervoy; manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company for patients previously treated with BriaVax™ from the ongoing Phase I/IIa Clinical Trial in Advanced Breast Cancer.
This roll-over combination study allows the patients who did not respond to BriaVax™ (monotherapy) treatment to be treated and continue to receive the potential clinical benefits of BriaVax™ in combination with either pembrolizumab or ipilimumab. This approach is based on the hypothesis that both pembrolizumab and ipilimumab may improve the anti-tumor activity of BriaVax™ in patients with advanced breast cancer. Safety and efficacy data will be evaluated.
"We are very excited to evaluate the effects of BriaVax™ with other approved anti-tumor immunotherapeutic agents. We expect this study to extend and potentiate the clinical benefits of BriaVax™ in advanced breast cancer patients," stated Dr. Williams, BriaCell's President & CEO. "We look forward to expanding our clinical study and exploring potential immunotherapy partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies in the future, and we are pleased with the FDA decision," Dr. Williams added.
The clinical investigators will work closely with Cancer Insight, LLC, BriaCell's contract research organization, to manage the clinical and regulatory aspects of the clinical trial for the roll-over combination study of BriaVax™ on behalf of BriaCell. More information on the roll-over combination study of BriaVax™ with either ipilimumab or pembrolizumab will be available on ClinicalTrials.gov (Study identifier: BRI-ROL-001).
About KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab)
Manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc., KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) is a prescription medicine that may treat certain cancers by working with the immune system. It has been approved for the treatment of a number of cancer indications excluding breast cancer.
For more information on pembrolizumab, please see: https://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/k/keytruda/keytruda_pi.pdf
About YERVOY® (ipilimumab)
Manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, YERVOY® (ipilimumab) is a prescription medicine used in adults and children 12 years and older to treat melanoma (a kind of skin cancer) that has spread (metastatic) or cannot be removed by surgery (unresectable). It is a monoclonal antibody that works to activate the immune system and enabling them to recognize and destroy cancer cells.
For more information on Ipilimumab, please see: https://packageinserts.bms.com/pi/pi_yervoy.pdf
BriaVax™ is a whole-cell breast cancer vaccine genetically engineered to release granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), a substance that activates the immune system. Previously, a small Phase I study documented very prompt and near complete regression of metastatic breast cancer deposits in the breast, lung, soft tissue, and even the brain.
About BriaVax™ (Clinical Trial – Monotherapy)
The ongoing open-label Phase I/IIa study will evaluate BriaVax™ in up to 40 advanced breast cancer patients. This trial is listed in ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT03066947. The trial is being conducted along with the co-development of BriaDx™, our companion diagnostic test. The interim data for the first 10 patients is expected by the first quarter of 2018.
BriaCell is an immuno-oncology focused biotechnology company developing a targeted and safe approach to the management of cancer. BriaCell's mission is to serve late-stage cancer patients with no available treatment options.
Immunotherapy has come to the forefront of the fight against cancer, harnessing the body's own immune system in recognizing and selectively destroying the cancer cells while sparing normal ones. Immunotherapy, in addition to generally being more targeted and less toxic than commonly used types of chemotherapy, is also thought to be a strong type of approach aimed at preventing cancer recurrence.
BriaVax™, the Company's lead product candidate, is a whole-cell breast cancer vaccine genetically engineered to release granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), a substance that activates the immune system by allowing the body to recognize and eliminate cancerous cells by inducing tumor-directed T cell and potentially antibody responses.
The results of two previous Phase I clinical trials (one with the precursor cell line not genetically engineered to produce GM-CSF and one with BriaVax™) have been encouraging in patients with advanced breast cancer. Most notably, one patient with metastatic breast cancer responded to BriaVax™ with substantial reduction in tumor burden including lung and brain metastases. The company is currently conducting a Phase I/IIa clinical trial for BriaVax™ in patients with advanced breast cancer whose disease has progressed following at least one prior treatment course. This trial is listed in ClinicalTrials.gov as NCT03066947. The trial is being conducted along with the co-development of BriaDx™, our companion diagnostic test. The interim data for the first 10 patients is expected by the first quarter of 2018.
For additional information on BriaCell, please visit our website: http://briacell.com
About The Phase I/IIa Clinical Trial
In a previous Phase I setting, a patient with metastatic breast cancer responded to BriaVax™ with objective reduction in tumor burden. To expand on this finding, after updating the clinical protocol of the original investigational new drug (IND) application, an open-label Phase I/IIa clinical trial enrolling up to 40 late stage breast cancer patients with recurrent and/or metastatic disease has been launched. Patients will be administered BriaVax™ every two weeks for the first month of treatment, then monthly up to one year.
The primary objective of the Phase I/IIa clinical trial is to evaluate the safety of BriaVax™ in study subjects, and the principal secondary objective is an evaluation of the tumor size reduction. Tumor response will be monitored every three months during the study. The trial will also evaluate progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).
For additional details regarding the clinical trial, please visit: https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03066947
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Information
Except for the statements of historical fact, this news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of the applicable Canadian securities legislation which involves known and unknown risks relevant to the Company in particular and to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in general, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual events to differ materially from current expectation. These risks are more fully described in the Company's public filings available at http://www.sedar.com. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation, except to the extent required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.