"Today's positive data with IONIS-STAT3-2.5Rx are exciting, demonstrating robust activity that is comparable to other promising late-stage checkpoint inhibitor combination therapies for cancer. We continue to be encouraged by the substantial antitumor activity of our Generation 2.5 antisense drugs. Our Generation 2.5 chemistry increases the potency of our antisense drugs, thereby creating opportunities for drugs like IONIS-STAT3-2.5Rx to be effective in targeting more diseases with high unmet need, such as cancers," said
"We are encouraged by the anti-tumor activity and safety profile observed in patients with head and neck cancer with AZD9150 in combination with Imfinzi," said
Results from the study were presented at the 2017 ESMO Annual Congress in an oral presentation titled, "Phase 1b/2 Study (SCORES) Assessing Safety, Tolerability, and Preliminary Anti-tumor Activity of Durvalumab Plus AZD9150 or AZD5069 in Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors and Refractory and Metastatic (R/M) Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck (R/M-SCCHN)." In the study, combination therapy with IONIS-STAT3-2.5Rx and Imfinzi in 28 PD-L1 treatment naïve patients with R/M-SCCHN resulted in encouraging antitumor activity and deep responses to treatment. The treatment combination demonstrated a 29% (8/28) objective response rate with four partial responses (PR) and four complete responses (CR), of which one was a CR in target lesions only. An additional eight patients on the treatment combination had stable disease (SD) at 12 weeks, resulting in an overall disease control rate of 57% (16/28). Importantly, a complete response was seen in a patient with R/M-SCCHN that was refractory to previous PD-L1 treatment. Combination therapy with IONIS-STAT3-2.5Rx and Imfinzi demonstrated a manageable safety profile. The most common drug-related adverse events occurred infrequently and were similar to those observed with other drugs targeting the JAK/STAT pathway, including mild liver enzyme increases, mild platelet count decreases and mild anemia.
The Phase 1b/2 study is currently ongoing and enrolling an additional treatment group.
IONIS-STAT3-2.5Rx, also referred to as AZD9150, is a Generation 2.5 antisense drug designed to reduce the production of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3, or STAT3, for the treatment of patients with cancer. STAT3 is a protein involved in the translation of key factors critical for tumor cell growth and survival and is an important factor in immune cells of the tumor microenvironment where it contributes to the ability of tumors to evade the host immune system. STAT3 is over-active in a variety of cancers, including brain, lung, breast, bone, liver and multiple myeloma.
Ionis licensed IONIS-STAT3-2.5Rx to
Ionis is the leading company in RNA-targeted drug discovery and development focused on developing drugs for patients who have the highest unmet medical needs, such as those patients with severe and rare diseases. Using its proprietary antisense technology, Ionis has created a large pipeline of first-in-class or best-in-class drugs, with over three dozen drugs in development. SPINRAZA® (nusinersen) has been approved in the U.S., Europe, Japan, Canada and Brazil for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). Biogen is responsible for commercializing SPINRAZA. Drugs that have successfully completed Phase 3 studies include inotersen (IONIS-TTRRx), an antisense drug Ionis is developing to treat patients with TTR amyloidosis, and volanesorsen, an antisense drug discovered by Ionis and co-developed by Ionis and Akcea Therapeutics to treat patients with either familial chylomicronemia syndrome or familial partial lipodystrophy. Akcea, an affiliate of Ionis, is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing drugs to treat patients with serious cardiometabolic diseases caused by lipid disorders. If approved, volanesorsen will be commercialized through Ionis' affiliate, Akcea. Both inotersen and volanesorsen are progressing toward regulatory filings for marketing authorization. Ionis' patents provide strong and extensive protection for its drugs and technology. Additional information about Ionis is available at www.ionispharma.com.
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Ionis Pharmaceuticals Investor and Media Contacts: D. Wade Walke, Ph.D., Vice President, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, 760-603-2741; Alissa Santa Maria, Assistant Director, Corporate Development, 760-603-2643; Jennifer Capuzelo, Assistant Director, Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, 760-603-2606