(Sharecast News) - Clinical stage biopharmaceutical company Faron Pharmaceuticals announced new data from 'MATINS'-trial patients on Wednesday, to be presented at the ESMO Immuno-Oncology Congress 2019 in Geneva.
The AIM-traded firm said the scientific network would present the data in a plenary lecture, with more detailed biomarker data in a 'mini oral' session.
It explained that the phase 1 and 2 MATINS clinical trial was investigating the tolerability, safety and efficacy of 'Clevegen', its wholly-owned novel precision cancer immunotherapy targeting 'Clever-1' positive tumour associated macrophages in selected metastatic or inoperable solid tumours.
The company had previously announced that Clevegen administration resulted in an immune switch from immune suppression to immune activation.
It said the first available set of cell surface biomarker data from a group of seven patients to be presented at the congress showed that anti-Clever-1 treatment in cancer patients decreased a broad range of checkpoints, as well as co-stimulation markers CD28 and ICOS on circulating T-cell populations.
It also said it increased the expression of activation markers, and in addition, said anti-tumour responses with anti-Clever-1 treatment was found to associate with an increase in plasma interferon gamma, which is one of the tools the immune system is using to fight against cancer.
The analysis of checkpoints, also known as exhaustion markers, and activation markers could potentially also be used to guide the best possible checkpoint inhibitors combination treatment with anti-Clever-1 therapy.
Cell surface markers could then be used to monitor a patient's response to anti-Clever-1 therapy, and to evaluate the need for combination therapy in addition to anti-Clever-therapy.
The present finding potentially provided a method for choosing the best combination agents to initiate treatment together with anti-Clever-1 therapy, the board said, after observed changes in one or more checkpoint or activation marker expression.
Faron said it had filed a related patent to protect that method.
"We have always believed Clever-1 to be a master regulator of immunity, but we are very encouraged to find that Clevegen can down regulate a range of major inhibitory immune checkpoints, that current IO therapies aim to suppress," said chief executive officer Dr Markku Jalkanen.
"We intend to carry out further analysis of other MATINS patients and aim to understand which combination of IO therapies would build the optimal host immune activation for various cancer types or individuals.
"To have one single and safe treatment as early as possible would improve patient outcome."
Dr Jalkanen said the results indicated that Clevegen treatment could potentially allow increased efficacy of other IO treatments through the biomarker analysis of patient's blood cells post Clevegen induced immune activation, offering a biological rational to guide combination therapies.
At 1334 GMT, shares in Faron Pharmaceuticals were up 0.57% at 281.6p.
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