University of Washington To Become Fourth Enrolling Center in Trial
SAN DIEGO, CA, September 25, 2012 — OncoSec Medical Inc. (OTCBB: ONCS), a company developing its advanced-stage ImmunoPulse DNA-based immunotherapy and NeoPulse therapy to treat solid tumor cancers, announced that it has established the University of Washington (UW) as the fourth enrolling site for its Phase II metastatic melanoma clinical trial (OMS-I100). Investigational Review Board (IRB) approval has been received by UW, and investigators are actively recruiting for this clinical trial.
“UW now joins the University of California, San Francisco, John Wayne Cancer Institute and Lakeland Cancer Center as our fourth site for the melanoma study,” said Punit Dhillon, President and CEO of OncoSec. “We have enjoyed working with UW and Dr. Shailender Bhatia for the Merkel cell carcinoma program, and look forward to having them join the melanoma trial as well.”
A total of up to 25 patients with stage III or IV cutaneous and in-transit metastatic melanoma will be enrolled in this Phase II, single-arm, open-label and multi-center study. The trial is designed to assess local and distant objective response following treatment of cutaneous melanoma lesions with DNA IL-12 and electroporation with a primary endpoint of 24 weeks. One treatment cycle will consist of three treatments applied to up to four lesions on days 1, 5 and 8 with a maximum dose of 1.5 mg DNA IL-12 per treatment cycle. At 12 months, patients will be moved to the follow-up phase of the study and will be followed for up to five years for safety.
Dr. Shailender Bhatia, principal investigator at UW, commented “We have had experience with this treatment in the Phase II Merkel cell carcinoma study, so we are glad to have the opportunity to now offer this treatment as an experimental therapy to the patients who are suffering from melanoma.”
ImmunoPulse utilizes OncoSec’s proprietary technology to deliver a DNA-based cytokine coded for the immune stimulating agent interleukin-12, or DNA IL-12. The OncoSec Medical System (OMS) applies short electric impulses to the tumor, causing pores to open in the membrane of cancer cells that significantly increases DNA IL-12 uptake into these cells. Phase I data using ImmunoPulse to treat malignant melanoma demonstrated that this therapy was safe and well tolerated. In addition, 53% of patients with distant metastatic lesions demonstrated an objective response, with 15% of these patients having a complete response to the treatment.
Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. If it is recognized and treated early, it is almost always curable, but if it is not, the cancer can advance and spread to other parts of the body, where it becomes hard to treat and can be fatal. While it is not the most common of the skin cancers, it causes the most deaths. The American Cancer Society estimates that at present, about 123,000 new cases of melanoma in the US are diagnosed in a year, resulting in approximately 10,000 deaths. Melanoma originates in melanocytes, the cells which produce the pigment melanin that colors our skin, hair, and eyes. The majority of melanomas are black or brown, but often they can also be skin-colored, pink, red, purple, blue or white. Currently, there remains few treatment options for patients with late stage metastatic disease that can extend survival for the broad population.