Merck, Advaxis partner up on prostate cancer research
- The joint research team will be testing Advaxis’ Listeria monocytogenes (Lm)-LLO cancer immunotherapy both as a monotherapy and in combination with Merck’s PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab.
- Advaxis will fund the study; however, no additional financial details have been disclosed.
- The phase I/II study will begin in early 2015 and involve patients with previously treated, metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Preclinical evidence suggests that Lm-LLO immunotherapy, combined with a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, may enhance the anti-tumor response.
Pembrolizumab is currently being reviewed by both the FDA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). It has a robust clinical trial program that includes evaluation of pembrolizumab for more than 30 types of cancer, both as monotherapy and as part of combined therapy regimens.
As PharmaTimes points out, this is the second major research deal that Advaxis has cut this summer. Earlier this month, the company struck a research pact with AstraZeneca to test out cancer vaccine ADXS-HPV on HPV-infected patients with cervical, head, and neck cancers.
- Pharma Times Merck & Co pens prostate cancer pact with Advaxis