Kite, a Gilead Co., announced it has entered into a clinical trial collaboration with Pfizer to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the investigational combination of Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) and Pfizer’s utomilumab, a fully humanized 4-1BB agonist monoclonal antibody, in patients with refractory large B-cell lymphoma. A multi-center Phase 1/2 study sponsored by Kite is expected to begin in 2018. The results of this study will be used to evaluate options for further development of this combination, or similar combinations between Kite’s engineered T cell products and utomilumab.
Yescarta is the first chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR T) cell therapy to be indicated for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy, including DLBCL not otherwise specified, primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma, high grade B-cell lymphoma and DLBCL arising from follicular lymphoma. Yescarta is not indicated for patients with primary central nervous system lymphoma.
Utomilumab, also known as PF-05082566, is an investigational 4-1BB agonist that has been shown in preclinical models to enhance T cell mediated immune responses. Pfizer is currently investigating utomilumab in both hematologic cancers and solid tumors as a single agent and in combination with other anti-cancer therapies. Evidence also suggests that 4-1BB, a costimulatory protein expressed on activated T cells, is upregulated upon exposure to CD19-expressing tumor cells. Utomilumab could potentially enhance T cell proliferation and activity by augmenting the CD28 costimulatory domain of Yescarta with exogenous 4-1BB signaling.
“Kite is committed to realizing the full potential of Yescarta and other cell therapy technologies across a range of cancers,” said David Chang, MD, PhD, Worldwide Head of Research and Development and Chief Medical Officer at Kite. “We are pleased to collaborate with Pfizer on this study with utomilumab, which adds to the growing number of combination approaches we are exploring with Yescarta for patients living with lymphoma.”
The combination of Yescarta and utomilumab is investigational and has not been proven safe and effective.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery