The Korea Drug Development Fund (KDDF) and MSD Korea have selected Genexine’s HyLeukin-7 for use in a Keytruda (pembrolizumab) combination therapy trial, Genexine said Wednesday.
With the support of KDDF, Genexine will conduct phase 1b/2 clinical trials for patients with triple-negative breast cancer. Patients with triple-negative breast cancer have faster disease progression and shorter overall survival period than those with other types of breast cancer.
This study will aim to evaluate the safety and antitumor activity in patients who take a Keytruda and HyLeukin-7 combo therapy. The trial will investigate HyLeukin-7 induced T-cell immune response against tumors, and the impact of increasing the number of tumors infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) on Keytruda’s efficacy.
“Through the collaboration with MSD, we believe we can demonstrate the potential role of HyLeukin-7 to restore and revitalize T-cell immunity against tumors in triple-negative breast cancer patients who had relatively low response rates and poor survival rate when taking immunotherapies,” said Dr. Woo Jung-won, managing director of Genexine Development. “Through this agreement, we expect our efforts to confirm the wide applicability of HyLeukin-7 and gain momentum in introducing it rapidly into clinical field.”
HyLeukin-7, which is being developed jointly by Genexine and NeoImmuneTech, is a fusion protein prepared by applying hyFec technology - a sustained platform technology for Interleukin-7. In phase I clinical studies last year, the immunotherapy has shown to induce the proliferation of CD4 and CD8 T cells, which are known to be essential for anti-cancer immunity.
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