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Developing a Safer Allogeneic Cell Therapy for Ovarian Cancer

Michael Heffernan, chairman and chief executive officer, Avenge Bio, discussed AVB-001's lower systemic toxicity profile seen in preclinical studies.

“Our first cancer target is ovarian cancer which is a prevalent, deadly disease with not a lot of innovation over the past 20 years. Patients who don't do well on first-line platinum therapy or PARP inhibitors don't have a lot of additional options other than clinical trials. So, we see this as an option, at least early on, for a later-stage patient who doesn't have a lot of other treatment options where we can attempt to use the patient's immune system to eradicate the cancer.”

The FDA has cleared Avenge Bio’s investigational new drug application for AVB-001, an allogeneic cell therapy for metastatic peritoneal cancers, preliminarily for platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. The company will initiate a first-in-human phase 1 trial of the therapy in the second half of 2022 to evaluate the tolerability of an intraperitoneal administration of the therapy, determine the recommended phase 2 dose, assess antitumor activity, and measure immunological changes in the blood and peritoneal environment.

AVB-001 is developed using Avenge’s LOCOcyte platform and consists of immune-activating, alginate encapsulated IL-2-secreting cells. LOCOcyte is designed to mitigate systemic toxicities and generate robust immune responses with the use of immunomodulators and biomaterials.

CGTLive spoke with Michael Heffernan, chairman and chief executive officer, Avenge Bio, to learn more about the unmet needs in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and peritoneal malignancies. He also discussed how the LOCOcyte platform works and its advantages in this indication.

REFERENCE
Avenge Bio announces FDA clearance of the AVB-001 IND for the treatment of ovarian cancer, a novel cellular therapy leveraging the LOCOcyte™ immunotherapy platform. News release. Avenge Bio. August 3, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/avenge-bio-announces-fda-clearance-of-the-avb-001-ind-for-the-treatment-of-ovarian-cancer-a-novel-cellular-therapy-leveraging-the-lococyte-immunotherapy-platform-301598446.html