OncoSec Medical and Merck entered into a clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement to evaluate ImmunoPulse IL-12 in combination with pembrolizumab for the treatment of metastatic melanoma.
The multicenter phase 2 PISCES trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of ImmunoPulse IL-12 (OncoSec) — an immunotherapy platform focused on the delivery of DNA–based interleukin-12 — in combination with pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck), an anti–PD-1 therapy, in patients with metastatic melanoma following disease progression on previous treatment with an anti–PD-1 therapy.
Clinical trial data have demonstrated the potential for ImmunoPulse IL-12 to rescue patients with melanoma who do not initially respond to anti–PD-1 therapy, according to a company-issued press release.
Best overall response rate will serve as the primary endpoint.
“We are honored to collaborate with Merck — one of the world's leading cancer immuno-oncology companies — to help bring innovative cancer treatments to patients with unmet medical needs,” Punit Dhillon, CEO and president of OncoSec, said in the release.
Under the agreement, OncoSec will sponsor and fund the study and Merck will provide pembrolizumab.
“In addition to our recent fast track designation for this population, OncoSec is uniquely positioned to meaningfully impact clinical outcomes for patients who do not currently have any other options,” Dhillon said. “By working with innovative immuno-oncology leaders, this alliance underpins OncoSec's strategy to combine our ImmunoPulse IL-12 program with checkpoint inhibitor therapies to advance the care of patients.”