Ultimovacs announces a new clinical study in lung cancer.
The company’s fifth phase II combination study in lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer, NSCLC) is called LUNGVAC.
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers globally and by far the biggest cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. NSCLC accounts for approximately 85% of all lung cancers. The news of the new clinical study comes as we are entering the month of November, the “Lung Cancer Awareness Month”.
For patients with advanced lung cancer
An estimated 850,000 new cases of NSCLC are diagnosed each year, according to Ultimovacs. Most of these cases are metastatic patients, for whom the 5-year survival rate is around 7%.
“We see this new trial as a significant opportunity for Ultimovacs to make a difference to the lives of thousands of patients with advanced lung cancer,” said Carlos de Sousa, CEO of Ultimovacs, in the company’s press release.
Sponsored by Drammen Hospital
The LUNGVAC study will be a multi-center, randomized, open-label trial assessing the safety and efficacy of Ultimovacs vaccine candidate UV1 in combination with the checkpoint inhibitor cancer medicine pembrolizumab versus pembrolizumab alone in NSCLC patients with advanced or metastatic disease.
Checkpoint inhibitors are a type of immunotherapy. They block proteins that stop the immune system from attacking the cancer cells.
Professor Odd Terje Brustugun will be the principal investigator for the study, which will be sponsored by Drammen Hospital in Norway. The study will enroll approximately 138 patients and will be conducted at 8-10 clinical centres in Norway. The first patient is expected to be treated in the first part of 2022. Data read-out from the trial is anticipated by the end of 2024.
A month of good news
This week, Ultimovacs also announced that they had a successful private placement, raising NOK 270 Million in a significantly oversubscribed round.
Last week, Ultimovacs reached a significant milestone by receiving a dual Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA Fast Track status is reserved for research programs focused on developing drugs that address severe medical conditions and fill an unmet medical need to accelerate promising treatments to patients with high unmet needs.
About the company
Ultimovacs is developing immune-stimulatory vaccines to treat a broad range of cancers. Ultimovacs’ lead universal cancer vaccine candidate UV1 targets human telomerase (hTERT), present in 85-90% of cancers in all stages of tumor growth. By directing the immune system to hTERT antigens, UV1 drives CD4 helper T cells to the tumor to activate an immune system cascade and increase anti-tumor responses. With a broad Phase II program, Ultimovacs aims to clinically demonstrate UV1’s impact in multiple cancer types in combination with other immunotherapies. Ultimovacs’ second technology approach, based on the proprietary Tetanus-Epitope-Targeting (TET) platform, combines tumor-specific peptides and adjuvant in the same molecule and entered Phase I studies in 2021. For further information, please see www.ultimovacs.com