SAN DIEGO, June 05, 2018 – Polaris Group, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel drugs for cancer, announced results from a phase 1 clinical study that features Polaris lead therapeutic candidate ADI‑PEG 20 in combination with pemetrexed and cisplatin (ADIPEMCIS) in first-line treatment for argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS1) deficient metastatic uveal melanomas. The results were presented by Dr. Peter Szlosarek from Barts Cancer Center in the UK (abstract No.2589) at the American Society Clinical Oncology’s 2018 annual meeting.
ADIPEMCIS was well tolerated in a cohort of 10 patients. The best response was stable disease; which was observed in 7 of 10 patients and hence a disease control rate of 70%. The 12-month survival rate was 50% and the median overall survival is 11.5 months, with 1 patient still alive at 27.1 months.
Metastatic uveal melanoma has been resistant to systemic therapies, with low response rates and low overall survival. There is clearly an unmet medical need that requires the development of an effective and safe treatment for these patients. It has been observed previously that ADI‑PEG 20 had efficacy as a monotherapy in several earlier melanoma studies and now the combination with PEM/CIS has further enhanced the activity.
“ADIPEMCIS showed activity in these metastatic uveal melanoma patients,” said John Bomalaski, M.D., Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs, of Polaris. “We believe that ADI‑PEG 20 would benefit these patients, for whom there is no established treatment regimen. Based on this encouraging data as well as for ADI‑PEG 20 monotherapy in uveal melanoma, a trial of ADI‑PEG 20 in combination with checkpoint inhibitors, including programmed death and CTLA-4 antibodies is planned for uveal melanoma patients.”
About ADI-PEG 20
ADI‑PEG 20 is a biologic being developed by Polaris Group to treat cancers carrying a major metabolic defect that renders them unable to internally synthesize arginine. Because arginine is essential for protein synthesis and survival of cells, these cancer cells become dependent upon the external supply of arginine to survive and grow. ADI‑PEG 20 is designed to deplete the external supply of arginine, causing arginine-dependent cancer cells to die while leaving the patient’s normal cells unharmed. Multiple cancers have been reported to have a high degree of arginine-dependency and can potentially be treated with ADI‑PEG 20.
About Polaris Group
Polaris Group specializes in the research and development of protein drugs to treat cancer and other debilitating diseases. In addition to the ADI‑PEG 20 program, Polaris Group is developing other therapeutic agents, including a small molecule drug program that utilizes a rational structure-based approach to design novel compounds that inhibit the biological function of cancer-related protein targets.