Oncolytics Biotech (TSE:ONC) saw its shares rise Thursday after saying it has met the main goal for the first stage of its phase 2 lung cancer trial.
Shares advanced 6.25% in Toronto to $2.55 this afternoon.
The company announced today the preliminary results from its US phase 2 trial in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, using an intravenous dose of Reolysin, together with carboplatin and paclitaxel.
The primary goal of the two-stage study is to assess the anti-tumor effect of the treatment regimen in terms of objective response rates.
Up to 19 evaluable patients were to be treated in the first stage. If four or more patients showed a partial response or better, the study would then proceed to the second stage, with up to 55 patients being treated in the entire study.
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This goal was met after 15 patients were enrolled, Oncolytics said, and has therefore decided to proceed to the next stage of the study. Five of the 15 patients showed a partial response, and an additional 8 had stable disease, for a disease control rate of 87 per cent.
Secondary goals of the trial are to assess progression-free survival and overall survival for the treatment, safety and tolerability, and the number of patients who are free of the disease progression at six months.
Eligible patients for the study included those with metastatic stage IIIB, or stage IV, or recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the lung who have never had chemotherapy treatment.
“These preliminary results are encouraging and further supportive of the decision to conduct a randomized Phase II study examining REOLYSIN in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients including those with SCCLC,” said president and CEO of the company, Dr. Brad Thompson.
“Oncolytics Phase II program continues to grow and now includes randomized trials in six separate indications.”
The principal investigator of the trial is Dr. Alain Mita of Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles, California.
According to the American Cancer Society, in 2012, around 226,160 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed. Between 85% and 90% of all lung cancers are classified as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), while squamous cell carcinomas accounts for 25-30% of all lung cancers.
More people die of lung cancer than from colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
The Calgary-based biotechnology company is focused on the development of oncolytic viruses as potential cancer therapeutics. Its clinical program includes a number of human trials using Reolysin, its formulation of the human reovirus.
About the author
Deborah Sterescu started as an equities reporter in the Toronto office of Proactiveinvestors in August 2010, before becoming deputy editor. Prior to this, she was deputy editor of private equity trade journal unquote” UK in London, England, where she graduated with a Masters in International Journalism from City University in 2008. She has covered a range of topics in finance since starting her career, writing in depth about both public and private markets. Deborah has also completed stints at The Times, The Independent and The Economist.