Medical Prognosis Institute A/S (MPI) announced it has enrolled the first person in the APO010 Screening Protocol for multiple myeloma, a preliminary step for determining those myeloma patients best suited to test a potential immuno-oncology therapy in a soon-to-launch clinical trial.
The patient, enrolled at one of four hematology research sites in Denmark, is expected to be among an eventual 150 people screened through the DRP (Drug Response Predictor) diagnostic platform, a tool to develop tumor-derived gene signatures that predict which cancer patients are most likely to respond to given anti-cancer treatments. The DRP platform can be used in all cancer types, MPI reported, and has been patented for more than 60 anti-cancer drugs in the U.S.
APO010, a humanized recombinant mega-Fas-ligand, is a first-in-class investigational anti-cancer agent. It works by specifically binding to its cognate Fas receptor on the cell surface to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death). APO010 has been shown to exert anti-cancer activity in vitro and in animal models carrying a human xenograft of a variety of cancers, including malignancies such as multiple myeloma.
The screening, being done through MPI’s spinout company, Oncology Venture, will identify 15 multiple myeloma patients most likely to benefit from treatment with APO010. These patients will then be enrolled in a multi-center Phase 2 trial, which is planned to begin in mid-2016.
“I’m very happy that the first patient has been included in the screening for APO010 sensitivity in Multiple Myeloma patients. Fifteen of the highest likely sensitive patients will be included in a proof-of-concept phase 2 trial with this first in class immuno-oncology product,” Peter Buhl Jensen, MD, CEO of MPI, said in a press release. “MPI has already screened more than 1000 metastatic breast cancer patients and the Multiple Myeloma screening is the next step in building the Personalized Medicine tool.”
Medical Prognosis Institute uses its DRP diagnostic platform, in partnership with cancer drug developers, to streamline therapy development through clinical trials and to better stratify patients, so as to lower the risks to people participating in trials.
In multiple myeloma, abnormal plasma cells accumulate in the bone marrow and interfere with the production of normal blood cells.