Clovis Oncology Inc (NASDAQ:CLVS) and Alkermes Plc (NASDAQ:ALKS) recently announced that they observed positive pre-clinical results from a study evaluating ALKS 4230 as a combinational therapy with lucitanib.
The two companies have been collaborating on the research in which they have been evaluating the drug combination as a potential treatment for colon cancer. ALKS 4230, a pipeline interleukin-2 (IL-2) variant immunotherapy, is developed by Alkermes. Lucitanib is an angiogenesis inhibitor developed by Clovis. The two companies also presented the findings from their clinical trial to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) through the annual meeting held virtually this year on June 22.
“Combining treatments with complementary mechanisms may offer synergistic clinical benefit and expand treatment options for a broader set of patient populations,” stated Alkermes’ Chief Medical Officer, Craig Hopkinson.
The two companies designed the study to evaluate the drug combo’s efficacy in anti-tumor activity, as well as the action mechanisms of the combination treatment in a mouse model of colon cancer. The efficacy was tested for lucitanib and ALKS 4230 as monotherapies and also as a combination therapy. The study’s findings resulted in durable complete responses, dose dependence, and enhanced survival, especially compared to the monotherapies’ results.
Dr. Hopkinson pointed out that the clinical data’s compelling trial findings support further exploration of the combination treatment. He also added that the overall goal of the clinical studies conducted by Clovis and alkermes is to achieve enhanced therapeutic outcomes in cancer patients that have different types of tumors.
The types of responses observed from the pre-clinical trial
The pre-clinical study’s findings indicate that there was a clear gene expression profile courtesy of the anti-tumor activity as a result of treatment with the mALKS 4230 and lucitanib combination. The drug combination also resulted in increased production of intratumoral immune cells, including dendritic cells and CD8+ T cells.
The cell production was notably higher in the mice treated with the combination therapy compared to those treated with the monotherapy options. These types of cell changes usually occur when there are anti-tumor immune responses.