Interim results from a phase Ib/II study of pepinemab in combination with avelumab in advanced NSCLC patients following progression on prior systemic and/or anti-PDx therapies.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

2020 ASCO-SITC Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium


Background:Despite progress of immune checkpoint therapies, many cases of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are refractory or acquire resistance to current therapies. Antibody blockade of semaphorin 4D (SEMA4D, CD100) can overcome resistance mechanisms of immune exclusion and myeloid suppression. Importantly, combinations of anti-SEMA4D with various immunotherapies enhanced T cell infiltration and activity, as well as durable tumor regression in preclinical models. Pepinemab (VX15/2503) is a first-in-class humanized monoclonal antibody targeting SEMA4D.Methods:The CLASSICAL-Lung clinical trial (NCT03268057) evaluates the combination of pepinemab with anti-PD-L1 antibody avelumab to couple beneficial modifications of the immune microenvironment via pepinemab with immune activation via checkpoint inhibition. This ongoing study evaluates the safety, tolerability and efficacy of the combination in patients with advanced (stage IIIB/IV) NSCLC, including immunotherapy-naïve (ION) patients and patients whose tumors progressed during or following immunotherapy (IOF).Results:The combination was well tolerated with no major safety signals identified. Among 29 evaluable IOF patients, two experienced confirmed partial response (PR) with 63% and 52% tumor reduction on study following acquired resistance to prior treatment with pembrolizumab, 15 additional patients experienced stable disease, and at least 5 patients with durable clinical benefit of ≥ 23 weeks. Among 21 evaluable ION patients, 5 experienced PR, clinical benefit ≥ 1 year was observed in 3 patients, and Disease Control Rate was 81%. Analysis of pre- and on-treatment biopsies demonstrated increased CD8+ T cell density correlating with response, reduction or elimination of tumor in 11/13 biopsies from subjects with PR or SD.Conclusions:Interim analysis suggests the combination of pepinemab plus avelumab is well tolerated and shows initial clinical signals of antitumor activity. Updated clinical response data (minimum of 6 mo. follow-up), as well as additional immunophenotyping of both inflammatory and suppressive myeloid cells will be presented. Clinical trial information: NCT03268057

Clinical Institute