Eli Lilly expands its portfolio in immune-oncology therapies. This time, Immunocore‘s lead T cell receptor-based drug, IMCgp100 is tested in combination with Lilly’s kinase inhibitors galunisertib and merestinib. This second collaboration between these two companies aims to increase drug efficacy against melanoma cancer.
Melanomas are rare forms of skin cancer, that have a high potential of spreading, and incidents are rapidly increasing with an annual growth rate of 3,39%.
In 2016, Lilly will fund two distinct Phase Ib/II studies to evaluate the safety and preliminary efficacy of the drug cocktails. Both contain Immunocore’s IMCgp100, its most advanced ImmTAC molecule. ImmTACs are soluble T cell receptors (TCRs), with cancer-specific targeting. They bind to diseased cells and help circulating T Cells to recognize and attack cancerous cells. Currently undergoing Phase IIa for the treatment of late stage melanoma, IMCgp100 is also measuring up to combination-therapies.
During the first trial, IMCgp100 will be combined with Galunisertib to treat patients with metastatic cutaneous melanomas. Galunisertib is a TGF beta R1 kinase inhibitor,