New Trial Combines PT886 And Keytruda for Gastric Cancer

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A phase 1 trial is being conducted to evaluate the combination of PT886 and Keytruda in patients with claudin 18.2 positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinomas.

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A clinical trial will investigate a new treatment combination for patients with GEJ or gastric cancer.

A clinical trial for patients with claudin 18.2-positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinomas is currently enrolling patients. The trial will investigate the bispecific antibody PT866 and the anti-PD-1 therapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab), according to a news release.

GEJ adenocarcinoma is a cancer which effects where the esophagus connects to the stomach, while gastric cancer is specific to a cancer that effects the esophagus, where it connects to the stomach. Claudin 18.2 is a protein found within gastric or GEJ adenocarcinomas. Claudin 18.2-positive refers to the addition of claudin 18.2, and PT886 may treat this overexpression, according to The National Institutes of Health.

"Claudin 18.2 is a clinically validated target and is over-expressed in these types of GI tumors,” explained Dr. Ming Wang, founder and CEO of Phanes Therapeutics, Inc., the manufacturer of the drug, in a news release.

PT886 destroys cancer cells with the help of immune cells and specifically targets claudin 18.2 and CD47. PT886 can also assist the immune system in recognizing cancer by helping the creation of new signals for cancer cells within the body.

"PT886 has the potential to be a transformative treatment option for pancreatic cancer patients whose current standard of care is severely limited," stated Wang. "This orphan drug designation comes in the same month with our recent (investigational new drug) clearance for PT886, which we are rapidly progressing into the clinic. These important milestones the company has achieved in (the second quarter of ) this year follow the March (investigational new drug) clearance for PT199, an anti-CD73 monoclonal antibody for the treatment of multiple solid tumors."

Phanes, which has announced a clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with Keytruda manufacturer Merck, is currently enrolling patients in a phase 1 clinical trial to investigate the safety, efficiency, pharmacokinetics (how the drug moves through the body), pharmacodynamics (how it affects the body) and effectiveness of PT886 among patients with locally advanced or metastatic gastric, GEJ or pancreatic cancer that has progressed “after all available standard therapy or for which standard therapy has proven to be ineffective, intolerable or is considered inappropriate,” according to the news release.

Phanes plans to subsequently measure the therapeutic potential of PT886 in combination with Keytruda in patients with 18.2 positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinomas with or without undergoing chemotherapy, according to the news release.

“We believe the mechanisms of PT886 and (Keytruda) are complementary and the combination has the potential to improve outcomes for patients,” Wang said in the news release.

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