Medicenna Announces Initiation of Phase 2 Clinical Trial of MDNA55 for the Treatment of Recurrent Glioblastoma
(Disclosure: Medicenna is a new sponsor of the Musella Foundation). This immunotherapy had some very impressive results in a small early trial. Of course we have to be careful when there are small numbers involved - sometimes that doesn't pan out when the large trials are done, but it is a good sign. In a group of patient with recurrent gbm who did not have a resection at the time of recurrence, just one infusion of this new treatment, they had 20% complete response rate. That means the tumor disappeared after just one infusion. The response rate was 56% and if you include stable disease, the benefit rate (Stable + partial response + complete response) was 68%. They were no serious safety problems.
This treatment is a fusion protein which targets Interleukin-4 which is overexpressed on 3/4 of GBMs, and 100% of brainstem gliomas. It carries along a toxin that can kill the cells which overexpress IL-4. Normal cells have a low level of IL-4. Delivery is via convection enhanced delivery. Prior trials involving CED have failed, mainly because the early versions of CED were not accurate - they couldn't get the drug to the target. The Tocagen trials proved that CED is now at a point where they can routinely get the treatment
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