According to “ iTeos Therapeutics debuts first data on TIGIT-targeting cancer immunotherapy” ITeos NASDAQ:ITOS Therapeutics offered the first look at clinical data for its experimental cancer antibody that works by blocking the novel — and very buzzworthy — protein target called TIGIT. The tumor-shrinking activity of the company’s drug, called EOS-448, was minimal but still comparable to early study data from competing TIGIT-targeted drugs in development, including ones from Roche and Merck NYSE: MRK .
iTeos presented the EOS-448 Phase 1 study results at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research on Saturday. The TIGIT class of immunotherapy drugs is drawing a lot of attention from academia, industry, and investors because of its potential to greatly expand the pool of patients who might benefit from so-called checkpoint inhibitors.
TIGIT-targeted drugs will most likely be used in combination with currently approved anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 checkpoint drugs, which have become standard-of-care treatments for a wide range of solid tumors. Some of these drugs — Keytruda from Merck, Opdivo from Bristol Myers Squibb NYSE: BMY and Roche’s Tecentriq — have become the best-selling cancer drugs in the world, generating billions of dollars in revenue.
About those minimal tumor responses: Normally, it would be a cause for concern, except last year, Roche presented results from a randomized Phase 2 study showing the combination of its TIGIT-targeted drug called tiragolumab combined with its PD-L1 inhibitor Tecentriq reduced the risk of tumor progression by 70% compared to Tecentriq alone in patients with lung cancer containing high levels of PD-L1. In the same patient population, the tumor response to tiragolumab-Tecentriq was 66% compared to 24% for Tecentriq alone.
This Roche study, called CITYSCAPE, provided the first strong evidence that blocking TIGIT could amplify the overall tumor-killing effect of checkpoint inhibitors and provide greater benefit for patients. Roche is now conducting Phase 3 studies of the combination therapy.
Arcus BioSciences is developing a TIGIT-targeted drug called domvanalimab, currently being investigated in a closely watched, randomized mid-stage clinical trial involving patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Preliminary results are coming this quarter, and if positive, Gilead Sciences might pounce. It has opt-in rights to domvanalimab through a year-old collaboration with Arcus.
Iteos has plans to start its own clinical trials to investigate combination therapy with EOS-448.
Avalon GloboCare Corp. (NASDAQ: AVCO) is a clinical-stage, vertically integrated, leading CellTech bio-developer with major prospects in immune effector cell therapy, exosome technology, as well as COVID-19 related diagnostics and therapeutics. Avalon also provides strategic advisory and outsourcing services to facilitate and enhance its clients’ growth and development, as well as competitiveness in healthcare and CellTech industry markets.
In the first quarter of 2020, Avalon GloboCare (NASDAQ: AVCO) successfully completed a phase 1 first-in-human clinical study of AVA-001 in China for the treatment of relapsed refractory B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (R/R B-ALL). 90% of R/R B-ALL patients achieved complete remission with one dose and within one month of treatment, and then proceeded to a curative-intent allogeneic bone marrow transplant. Also there was minimal and well tolerated side effects with little neurotoxicity or cytokine release. This paradigm of bridging CAR-T cell therapy to bone marrow transplant creates a new horizon with potentially ground breaking commercial application for patients with relapsed/refractory B-ALL and other hematologic cancers.
So far in 2021 Avalon GloboCare (NASDAQ:AVCO) has advanced there research platform substantially by expanding a Co-Development program with MIT using CRISPR based genome editing to combat cancer metastasis. They also announced a collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for development of their FLASH-CAR™ RNA-based cellular therapies includes utilization of Avalon’s new Point-of-Care Modular Autonomous Processing System (PMAPsys™). First FLASH-CAR™ candidate, AVA-011, on-track for clinical study in B-cell lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma patients. The FLASH-CAR™ technology modifies patients’ T-cells and natural killer (NK) cells using a ribonucleic acid (RNA)-based platform rather than a viral vector, and is being co-developed with the Company’s strategic partner, Arbele Limited. The adaptable FLASH-CAR™ platform can be used to create personalized cell therapies from a patient’s own cells, as well as “off-the-shelf” cell therapies from a universal donor. By avoiding viral vectors and complicated bio-processing procedures, the FLASH-CAR™ technology significantly reduces manufacturing costs and development times, resulting in more affordable and potentially breakthrough therapies for cancer patients. Avalon’s innovative FLASH-CAR™ technology can be used to generate universal cell therapies that may allow for widespread patient accessibility enabling broader commercial adoption compared to currently available CAR-T cell therapies. Avalon’s first FLASH-CAR™ platform candidate, AVA-011, targets both CD19 and CD22 tumor antigens on cancer cells and is in development for patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
“This is an important milestone in the clinical development and production of AVA-011 and other RNA-based FLASH-CAR™ candidates ahead of the start of our first-in-human clinical trials,” said David Jin, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Avalon GloboCare. “We are excited about our partnership on the PMAPsys™ with UPMC, which we believe will help accelerate the path to bringing our own and third-party cell therapies to market. We are working diligently to fast-track development and commercialization of our cellular immune-oncology therapeutic products, while providing the highest quality and safety standards for our patients.”
Avalaon GloboCare (NASDAQ:AVCO) is teaming up with some of the brightest minds in CAR-T and CRISP based technologies including Dr. Yen-Michael Hsu, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Immunologic Monitoring and Cellular Products Laboratory at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center and Dr. Shuguang Zhang at MIT’s Media La to rapidly develop potentially lifesaving technological advancements with major commercial applications. Recently some of the smartest money on Wall Street has been extremely bullish on this specific niche including Catherine Wood at ARK invest, in a recent interview she stated that her ARKG (ARK Genomic) ETF has the most potential upside over the next five years as the fund has been deploying billions to companies that produce or enable CRISPR, another Targeted Therapeutics. Over the past few weeks microcap stocks have been under more than usual pressure resulting in Avalon GloboCare NASDAQ (AVCO) to be trading at their 52 week low at just around S1.00 a share. I strongly believe Avalon’s pipe line along with a market cap of less than 100 million creates a highly asymmetric risk reward opportunity.