Adding Imfinzi (durvalumab) to standard first-line chemotherapy led to a clinically meaningful extension in the overall survival of patients with advanced small cell lung cancer (SCLC), according to results of a Phase 3 clinical trial.
The open-label, global CASPIAN trial (NCT03043872) is testing AstraZeneca’s Imfinzi combined with chemotherapies — etoposide and either cisplatin or carboplatin — or Imfinzi with tremelimumab and chemotherapy, compared with chemotherapy alone in patients with extensive-stage SCLC, meaning the cancer has spread to the lungs or other parts of the body.
Alastair Smith, Chief Executive at Avacta Group plc told DirectorsTalk:
“Another strong clinical endorsement of our approach to combine chemotherapy with immunotherapy, this time from AZ. Avacta’s unique platform – Affimers, and tumour targeted release of chemotherapy – should improve the safety and tolerability of these combination treatments and broaden the therapeutic window. Positive data from Avacta’s phase I study of our pro-doxorubicin tumour focused chemotherapy in the first half of next year – well ahead of previous plans to test this platform in humans – should lead to significant commercial interest from large pharma, as well as being a major step forwards in our own wholly owned pipeline of immuno-chemo-therapy combinations.”
Avacta’s principal focus is on its proprietary Affimer® technology which is a novel engineered alternative to antibodies that has wide application in Life Sciences for diagnostics, therapeutics and general research and development.
Antibodies dominate markets worth in excess of $100bn despite their shortcomings. Affimer technology has been designed to address many of these negative performance issues, principally; the time taken to generate new antibodies, the reliance on an animal’s immune response, poor specificity in many cases, and batch to batch variability. Affimer technology is based on a small protein that can be quickly generated to bind with high specificity and affinity to a wide range of protein targets.
Avacta has a pre-clinical biotech development programme with an in-house focus on immuno-oncology as well as partnered development programmes. Avacta is commercialising non-therapeutic Affimer reagents through licensing to developers of life sciences research tools and diagnostics.