We’ve had a busy year at OncoSec. From our ongoing clinical trials to the formation of our melanoma board, research agreement with Old Dominion University and in between, the last year has moved us deeper into cancer research and engaging with patient communities. As we have only a matter of days left in 2013, we would like to look back at this year in review. Here is a selection of some of our activities this year:
There has been a lot of attention surrounding the effectiveness of PD-1 drugs lately. The New York Times published an article recently on how such drugs are “unleashing the immune system to attack cancer cells…” and that this “could be an alternative to often-debilitating chemotherapy.”
More and more, a one-size-fits-all approach to medicine has been shown to simply be ineffective. With resistant strains of disease, genetic differences in patients and the requirement for more effective (yet less damaging) treatment options, modern medicine is beginning to change its approach. With more attention paid towards personalized medicine, attempts at fewer side effects and ongoing research into gene therapy and immunotherapy, we are now seeing a pronounced shift. One method gaining a lot of attention is combination therapy.
Study to Evaluate the Effects of ImmunoPulse in Combination with Anti-CTLA4, Anti-PD1 and Anti-PDL-1 Therapies
SAN DIEGO – June 11, 2013 – OncoSec Medical Inc. (OTCQB: ONCS), a company developing its advanced-stage ImmunoPulse DNA-based immunotherapy and NeoPulse therapy to treat solid tumors, signed a Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA) with Old Dominion University (ODU) and the Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics. Under the agreement, OncoSec and the University will collaborate on nonclinical research focused on developing new technology related to electroporation and delivery of different agents into solid tumors by electroporation.
The first research experiment under this SRA will evaluate the effects of ImmunoPulse in combination with Anti-CTLA4, Anti-PD1 and Anti-PDL-1 in a melanoma mouse model. The study will commence this month and data from these experiments will be announced at a later date.
“Although results from ongoing Phase 2 studies have demonstrated ImmunoPulse is a potentially effective monotherapy for the treatment of skin cancers such as melanoma and Merkel cell carcinoma, OncoSec continues to evaluate opportunities where ImmunoPulse can be combined with other therapies to either improve its effectiveness or broaden the use of ImmunoPulse into other indications,” said Punit Dhillon, President and CEO of OncoSec Medical.
Mr. Dhillon continued, “The signing of this research agreement with ODU enables the company to determine which combination approaches are most effective and will help guide the company in the development of ImmunoPulse for its melanoma program and other solid tumor malignancies. The recent data announced at ASCO demonstrating the benefit of combining Ipilimumab (Anti-CTLA-4) with Nivolimumab (Anti-PD-1) for the treatment of advanced-stage melanoma, provides further support toward OncoSec’s efforts to expand the use of ImmunoPulse through the evaluation of different combination approaches to assess synergistic effects.”
The principal investigator of the study will be Dr. Richard Heller, one of the world’s leading pioneers in electroporation and gene delivery. Dr. Heller sits on OncoSec’s Scientific Advisory Board and has more than 25 years of experience in evaluating effects of electric pulses on biological systems.
Dr. Heller said, “We are excited to be collaborating with OncoSec. The combination of immune modulating agents to treat aggressive cancers like melanoma will further the scientific community’s understanding of these therapies. ImmunoPulse has continued to demonstrate a clear safety profile with promising clinical results, so we are looking forward to learn about the benefits of these new combinations.”
About Frank Reidy Research Center for Bioelectrics
The mission of the Center is to increase scientific knowledge and understanding of the interaction of electromagnetic fields and ionized gases with biological cells and to apply this knowledge to the development of medical diagnostics, therapeutics, and environmental decontamination. The objectives of the Center are to perform leading edge interdisciplinary and multi-institutional research, recruit top faculty and exceptional graduate students, support regional, national and international programs, and to increase external funding and institutional visibility.