Merck, DNAtrix Partner in Immuno-Oncology

Merck & Co. and DNAtrix, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing virus-driven immunotherapies for cancer, have entered into an oncology clinical study collaboration to evaluate the efficacy and safety of DNX-2401, DNAtrix's oncolytic immunotherapy, in combination with Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab), an anti-PD-1 therapy, in a Phase II, multi-centered study of patients with recurrent glioblastoma, the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

DNX-2401 is a conditionally replicative oncolytic adenovirus designed to specifically target cells defective in the retinoblastoma (Rb) pathway, which is present in many cancers. Several DNX-2401 clinical studies have demonstrated a favorable safety profile and strong tumor-killing potential in patients with recurrent glioblastoma. Keytruda is a humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks the interaction between PD-1 (programmed death receptor-1) and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2. It is currently approved in the United States for certain types of advanced metastatic melanoma.

The agreement is between DNAtrix and Merck, through a subsidiary. Additional details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

Source: Merck KGaA

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