Clinical stage immuno-oncology company Imugene (ASX: IMU) has been granted a new patent by the Japanese Patent Office for its PD1-Vaxx clinical candidate.
The grant protects the immunotherapeutic drug, which is a first-in-class programmed death-1 (PD1) vaccine currently in clinical development for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Titled Human PD1 Peptide Vaccines and Uses Thereof, it protects the composition of matter and method of treatment in cancer of PD1-Vaxx for the generation of a therapeutic antibody response against the PD1 checkpoint target.
Imugene’s PD1-Vaxx is a B-cell activating immunotherapy designed to treat tumours such as lung cancer by interfering with PD-1/PD-L1 binding and interactions.
It produces an anti-cancer effect similar to immunotherapies such as Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and Opdivo (nivolumab) as well as other immune checkpoint inhibitor monoclonal antibodies which promise to transform the treatment of a range of cancers.
Last week marked 1000 days in remission for a patient with late-stage NSCLC who was recruited and dosed in December 2020.
Imugene chief executive officer Leslie Chong welcomed the Japanese patent.
“Attaining this key patent, on top of gaining protection in the US earlier this year, is a very important milestone,” she said.
“Recruitment to the Phase 1 PD1-Vaxx trial, as monotherapy or in combination with atezolizumab in adults with NSCLC, has increased recently with strong interest from new clinical sites to participate in this innovative study.”
In June, Imugene was granted a patent extension by the US Patent Office to protect PD1-Vaxx.
It will expire in February 2040 and includes 685 days of patent term adjustment added to the original expiry date of March 2038.
Also in June, Imugene announced it would join forces with global biopharmaceutical company Roche on an Imprinter trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of lead candidate PD1-Vaxx combined with Tecentriq (atezolizumab).
The open label Phase 1/1b trial is based on B-cell immunotherapy as monotherapy or in combination with Tecentriq (with or without chemotherapy) in adults with the disease.
It will aim to determine the safety, efficacy and optimal dose of PD1-Vaxx as therapy in immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) treatment-naïve NSCLC patients or ICI pre-treated patients.