Developing Broad Product Pipeline with Leaders in I-O
We believe PDS0101, our lead product candidate, can fundamentally improve patient outcomes and transform the management of HPV-related pre-cancers and cancers. PDS0101 utilizes Versamune ® , PDS’ proprietary and versatile multi-functional platform technology, and also includes various peptides from oncogenic strains of the HPV virus.
PDS0101 in Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN)
HPV-induced cancers, including cervical cancer, are one of the few cancer types with a well-defined pre-cancerous stage. Pre-cancerous lesions are defined as low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, including early stage cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (“CIN1”), and high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, including late-stage cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (“CIN2/3”). There are currently no FDA-approved therapeutic drugs available to treat HPV-induced pre-cancers.
PDS0101 + Keytruda® in HPV-positive recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer
We have a collaboration agreement with Merck and Co. to combine PDS0101 with Merck’s checkpoint inhibitor, Keytruda ® , in a Phase 2 human clinical trial to treat HPV-positive recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer.
PDS0101 Phase 1/2a Human Clinical Data
PDS completed a Phase 1/2a trial of PDS0101, which was conducted at three sites in the United States. The study was an Open-label Escalating Dose Study to Evaluate the Safety, Tolerability, and Pharmacodynamics of PDS0101 in subjects with Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN) and high-risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infections. The study included 3 cohorts of 3 to 6 subjects each, based on a modified “3 + 3” dose-escalation study design.
The study enrolled Cohort 1 and progressed through Cohort 3, with each subsequent cohort receiving a higher dose of PDS0101. Successive cohorts all receives a constant dose of the HPV-16 E6 and E7 antigens. Subjects were given three subcutaneous injections of PDS0101, three weeks apart, and blood was drawn 14-19 days after each injection, as well as 90 days after the last injection. HPV-specific CD8+ T-cells were quantified using both the Interferon- ELISPOT assay (quantities all HPV-specific T-cells) granzyme-b ELISPOT assay (specifically quantifies active HPV-specific CD8+ T-cells). Dosing and dose escalation were based on safety evaluation for determination of potential dose-limiting toxicity (DLT).
A total of 12 subjects were enrolled. There was a strong induction of active HPV-specific killer T-cells (CD8+) observed with quantifiable amounts of the CD8+ T-cells retrieved from patient blood as late as 14-19 days after treatment.
PDS0102 (TARP-expressing cancers) for the treatment of prostate and breast cancers
Based on promising Phase 2 clinical trials run by the NCI using TARP antigens, PDS and the NCI are collaborating to develop a Versamune platform-based immunotherapy for prostate cancer.
PDS0103 (MUC-1 expressing cancers) for the treatment of colorectal, breast, ovarian and lung cancers
PDS0103 is based on novel agonist antigens of the mucin-1 (MUC-1) oncogenic C-terminal region developed by the laboratory of Dr. Jeff Schlom, head of Tumor Biology at the NCI. MUC1 is highly expressed in multiple tumor types and has been shown to be associated with drug resistance and poor prognosis for a range of human tumors. The agonist peptides, compared to the native peptides, more efficiently enhance production of IFN-γ by peptide activated human T cells, and also more efficiently lyse human tumor cell targets in an MHC-restricted manner. It is also known that high avidity T-cells can lyse targets with 1,000-fold lower peptide–MHC complexes. The enhancer agonist epitopes developed induce higher avidity T-cells than self-antigens and has been demonstrated to be a successful strategy to enhance number and avidity of T-cells for MUC-1 directed immunotherapy.
These MUC-1 antigens have been licensed from the NCI for use with Versamune® in ovarian, breast, colorectal and lung cancers.
PDS 0104 (TRP2 expressing cancers) for the treatment of melanoma
PDS has completed preclinical work in advanced melanoma tumor models where we have observed the ability of PDS0104 to overcome immune suppression and inhibit growth of B16 melanoma tumors. Preclinical studies have also demonstrated a strong synergy between PDS0104 and checkpoint inhibitors, resulting in dramatically improved antitumor response and prolonged survival.