CT191 - Interim results from CLASSICAL-Lung, phase 1b/2 study of pepinemab (VX15/2503) in combination with avelumab in advanced NSCLC

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American Association for Cancer Research; AACR Annual Meeting Online 2020


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, leading to durable tumor regression in preclinical models. Pepinemab (VX15/2503) is a first-in-class humanized monoclonal antibody targeting SEMA4D. The CLASSICAL-Lung clinical trial tests the combination of pepinemab with avelumab to couple immune activation via checkpoint inhibition with beneficial modifications of the tumor immune microenvironment via pepinemab. Here, we present interim results of the Phase 2 portion of the CLASSICAL-Lung study. This phase 1b/2, open label, single arm, first-in-human combination study is designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of pepinemab in combination with avelumab in 62 subjects with advanced stage (IIIB/IV) NSCLC, including immunotherapy-naïve (ION) patients and patients whose tumors progressed during or following immunotherapy (IOF). Dose escalation was successfully completed, presented previously, and no concerning safety signals have been identified to date. Among 29 evaluable IOF patients, 2 experienced confirmed partial response (PR) with 66% and 52% tumor reduction following acquired resistance to prior treatment with pembrolizumab, 15 additional patients experienced stable disease (SD), and at least 7 patients had durable clinical benefit of ≥ 23 weeks. Among 21 evaluable ION patients, 5 experienced PR, and 3 patients had clinical benefit ≥ 1 year. The disease control rate was 81%. Analysis of pre- and on-treatment biopsies demonstrated increased CD8+ T cell density correlating with response, with reduction or elimination of tumor in 10/11 biopsies from subjects with PR or SD. It was notable that 79% of patients who experienced PR or SD were reported to have tumors with negative or low PD-L1 expression. Enrollment is complete and this interim analysis suggest the combination of pepinemab plus avelumab is well tolerated and shows initial clinical signals of antitumor activity. Updated clinical response data, as well as additional immunophenotyping of both inflammatory and suppressive myeloid cells will be presented.

Clinical Institute



Earle A. Chiles Research Institute