Developing innovative immunotherapy products that effectively treat cancer patients and have minimal impact on their quality of life.
FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
April 5, 2018
Veana Therapeutics, Inc. is pleased to announce the interim results of the Phase I safety trial of its lead cancer immunotherapy drug asset, VIMO-001, in patients with advanced cancer. The Phase I clinical study is an “all comers” trial of patients with advanced and diverse cancer indications, including pancreatic, lung, prostate, renal, esophageal, colon, head and neck, and carcinoid cancers and that have failed all prior therapies. The trial is designed as a dose escalation study to assess safety and the maximum tolerated dose (MTD). The results are very encouraging because more than 75% of patients treated at the lowest two doses achieved stable disease and increased overall survival (OS) lasting from 1 month to 2 years. Recruitment continues in the trial as patients are enrolled in cohorts receiving the higher dose levels.
Veana’s next upcoming Phase I trial has the potential to impact more than 20% of all breast cancer patients. It combines VIMO-001 with Herceptin in HER2 positive breast cancer patients who have previously failed Herceptin therapy. The results are highly anticipated because in pre-clinical studies, the combination treatment caused complete tumor regression in 100% of treated animals. Patient enrollment for the combination breast cancer trial is slated to begin in early 2018.
The VIMO family of immunomodulatory small molecules is derived from a tocopherol (vitamin E) backbone. They are stable at ambient temperatures and are delivered orally in pill form. VIMO targets the mitochondria of rapidly dividing tumor cells and triggers cell death through both apoptosis and autophagy mechanisms. The resulting tumor cell death stimulates the release of “danger signals” such as heat shock proteins (HSPs), which contribute to the enhancement of the anti-cancer immune response via “auto-immunization”. The “auto-immunization” property of the VIMO immunotherapy platform lends itself to significant combination opportunities with currently FDA approved immunotherapy agents such as anti-PD-1, and anti-CTLA-4 checkpoint inhibitors to further amplify the anti-cancer immune response. Planned Veana clinical studies will focus on this type of combination immunotherapy in 2018 and 2019 as funding becomes available.
Emmanuel Akporiaye, Ph.D.
Veana Therapeutics, Portland, OR