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  • Imugene (IMU) doses its first patient in a phase one clinical trial to shrink advanced tumours
  • The company, in collaboration with City of Hope, dosed the first patient in a trial evaluating the safety of the novel cancer-killing virus, which has been shown to shrink a range of tumours in preclinical laboratory and animal models
  • The phase one trial will treat around 100 cancer patients via a low-dosage injection either directly into tumours or intravenously, across 10 trial sites in the US and Australia
  • Imugene expects the trial will run for 24 months and it will be funded from existing budgets and resources
  • Company last traded at 16.5 cents on May 17

Imugene (IMU) has dosed its first patient in a phase one clinical trial to shrink advanced tumours.

Through a collaboration with City of Hope, considered one of the largest cancer research and treatment organisations in the US, Imugene dosed the first volunteer in a trial evaluating the safety of novel cancer-killing virus CF33-hNIS VAXINIA.

The City of Hope-developed oncolytic virus had previously been shown to shrink colon, lung, breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer tumours in preclinical laboratory and animal models, however this milestone marks the first human trial.

Imugene explained oncolytic virus therapy can be made possible once viruses found in nature are genetically modified to infect, replicate in and kill cancer cells, while sparing healthy cells.

The company went on to say oncolytic viruses can prime a patient’s immune system and increase the level of PD-L1 in tumours, making immunotherapy more effective against cancer.

Principal investigator of City of Hope’s Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research, Daneng Li said previous research showed that oncolytic viruses can stimulate the immune system to respond to and kill cancer.

“Now is the time to further enhance the power of immunotherapy, and we believe CF33-hNIS has the potential to improve outcomes for our patients in their battle with cancer,” Daneng Li said.

The phase one trial involves delivering low dosages of the treatment to around 100 cancer patients with metastatic or advanced solid tumours who have undergone at least two prior lines of standard care treatment.

The investigational treatment will be delivered either via an injection directly into tumours or intravenously, across ten trial sites in the US and Australia.

Once patients in the single therapy group have been safely treated with the lowest doses of CF33-hNIS, a handful of new study participants will receive the experimental oncolytic virus in combination with the immunotherapy pembrolizumab, an engineered antibody that improves the immune system’s ability to fight cancer-causing cells.

Imugene expects the trial will run for 24 months and it will be funded from existing budgets and resources.

IMU last traded at 16.5 cents on May 17.

IMU by the numbers
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