Issue: April 2017, Posted Date: 4/18/2017
Pipeline Drug Offers Promise in Treatment of Platinum-Resistant Ovarian Cancer
soravtansine, a drug currently being trialed by ImmunoGen, has the potential to
solve a major unmet medical need for patients with platinum-resistant ovarian
cancer, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.
explored in the company’s latest ovarian
cancer report, once a patient becomes resistant to platinum-based
chemotherapy regimens, the efficacy and duration of response with current
treatment options are highly limited and demonstrate modest activity at best.
Earlier in 2017, ImmunoGen announced that the first patient was dosed in its
pivotal Phase III study that investigates mirvetuximab soravtansine as a single
agent treatment in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, thereby positioning its novel
antibody-drug conjugate well within the late-stage pipeline.
C. Hansel, PhD, Senior Healthcare Analyst for GlobalData, explains
“Mirvetuximab soravtansine is an anti-body drug conjugate that selectively
targets cells expressing folate receptor alpha (FRA) and delivers its cytotoxic
payload, DM4, to kill cells. Unlike previous FRA antibodies, ImmunoGen’s asset
doesn’t solely rely on a patient’s immune system to kill cancer cells. This small detail is important,
especially in heavily treated patients whose immune systems can be compromised
due to previous drug treatments and their overall health status. Furthermore,
the FRA pathway is not important for ovarian cancer cell survival, so even if
it is blocked, the cancer still grows.”
long-term growth prospects in the ovarian cancer space are bolstered by early
stage investigations looking to improve single agent mirvetuximab
soravtansine’s activity by combining it with Roche/Genentech’s approved ovarian
cancer angiogenesis inhibitor, Avastin (bevacizumab); Merck’s immune checkpoint
inhibitor, Keytruda (pembrolizumab); the first-line standard of care
chemotherapy carboplatin; and pegylated liposomal doxorubicin.
combinations are being investigated in the ongoing Phase Ib/II FORWARD II
trial. Their anticipated increased efficacy compared to the single agent
regimen and current standards of care could firmly entrench mirvetuximab
soravtansine earlier in the treatment paradigm, especially if the combinations
are well tolerated.
concludes “ImmunoGen has a lot of work ahead, but the future is bright for its
novel antibody-drug conjugate, which could simultaneously solve a major problem
for platinum-resistant recurrent ovarian cancer patients and represent a major
victory for the precision medicine movement.”
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