Innate Pharma, a French biotech firm, reported on Monday its experimental lead cancer drug lirilumab missed its primary endpoint in a Phase 2 study.
Lirilumab is a monoclonal antibody being tested as a checkpoint inhibitor designed to block the interaction between the KIR2DL-1,-2,-3 inhibitory receptors and their ligands, according to the company’s announcement. The idea behind this mechanism of action would spur the activation of natural killer cells and some subsets of T cells potentially facilitating a more potent attack on cancer cells.
Investigators running this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial recruited 150 elderly patients diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The goal was to gage lirilumab’s efficacy as a single agent for treating this form of blood cancer.
Results indicated there was no statistically significant difference between the lirilumab arms of the study and the placebo-controlled group for improving leukemia-free survival or similar efficacy endpoints. Any occurence of adverse events were in line with previously reported safety profiles of the drug as well.
“Although we knew that this setting was challenging, we are disappointed by the results of the EffiKIR study and will investigate further to better understand the data in its entirety,” said Innate’s Chief Medical Officer Pierre Didion in a statement.
Innate will continue to test lirilumab in conjuction with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo in six other clinical trials. In 2011, Bristol-Myers struck a $35 million deal with Innate to gain worldwide rights to their lead candidate with the potential for money based on lirilumab acheiveing certain milestone goals throughout the development process.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery