VBL announces positive PhIII data for ovarian cancer drug; GeneCentric partners with Janssen on bladder cancer
VBL Therapeutics announced that it is on track in a Phase III trial of its drug VB-111 (ofranergene obadenovec) to treat platinum-resistant ovarian cancer in combination with paclitaxel.
After conducting its second interim analysis, the independent Data Safety Monitoring Committee (DSMC) recommended that Israel-based VBL continue full steam ahead. The committee looked at unblinded overall survival rate, which is the primary endpoint of the study, dubbed OVAL. The first analysis evaluated CA-125 response.
About 400 patients are expected to participate in the trial, which compares the anti-cancer gene therapy agent VB-111 and paclitaxel with a placebo and paclitaxel combination.
VB-111 received orphan drug designation in the US and Europe to prolong the survival of patients with rGBM, and the European Commission also gave it orphan designation for the treatment of ovarian cancer. It’s currently in trial for use in patients with radioiodine-refractory thyroid cancer and recurrent platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.
“The OVAL study continues to show strong recruitment despite the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are very encouraged by the high response rate of over 50% of the trial participants, which has been maintained,” VBL CEO Dror Harats said in a prepared statement. — Nicole DeFeudis
GeneCentric partners with Janssen to study bladder cancer biomarkers
GeneCentric, a biotech based out of Durham, NC, announced it is entering into a research collaboration with Janssen to study RNA-based drug response biomarkers for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.
The research will involve the application of GeneCentric’s proprietary molecular profiling platform to determine potential signatures of disease progression and drug response to standard of care therapy. Specifically, the pair aim to research tumor microenvironments in genomic and immune settings for those with NMIBC.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The two companies say they settled on NMIBC as an area of research because, compared with metastatic urothelial carcinoma, there is much less known regarding cancer subtypes associated with disease risk and potential therapeutic response. — Max Gelman