Clinical-stage gene therapy company Genprex Inc. (NASDAQ: GNPX) this morning announced that its collaborators from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (“MD Anderson”) detailed positive preclinical data, in a poster presented at the American Association of Cancer Research Meeting 2019, regarding the combination of the TUSC2 gene with an anti-PD1 antibody, pembrolizumab, for the treatment of lung cancer. TUSC2 is a tumor suppressor gene and the active agent in Genprex’s Oncoprex immunogene therapy.
“Development of an improved humanized patient-derived xenograft, Hu-PDX, mouse model for evaluation of antitumor immune response in lung cancer,” was the title of the poster, which demonstrated that TUSC2 combined with checkpoint blockade was more effective than checkpoint blockade alone in increasing the survival of mice with human immune cells (humanized mice) that had metastatic lung cancer. The data showed that TUSC2 treatment with checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab worked to significantly slow tumor growth. Previously, pembrolizumab had no effect on tumor growth in non-humanized mice. The data also demonstrated the Hu-PDX model as an improved platform for immunotherapy evaluation.
“This sophisticated model gets one step closer to recapitulating certain functions of the human immune response within a manageable scientific animal model and allows us to further test our hypotheses of how a more complex immune system could interact with aggressive cancers when primed by drugs, such as Oncoprex, in humans,” Genprex President and COO Julien L. Pham, MD, MPH, stated in the news release. “These data further support and solidify existing preclinical data showing that Oncoprex immunogene therapy is synergistic with anti-PD1 therapy and could result in a stronger antitumor response compared to either agent alone. It also demonstrates how Oncoprex could be used in combination with other immunotherapies as a viable treatment option for late-stage non-small cell lung cancer.”
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About Genprex Inc.
Genprex Inc. is a clinical stage gene therapy company developing potentially life-changing technologies for cancer patients, based upon a unique proprietary technology platform, including Genprex’s initial product candidate, Oncoprex immunogene therapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Genprex’s platform technologies are designed to administer cancer fighting genes by encapsulating them into nanoscale hollow spheres called nanovesicles, which are then administered intravenously and taken up by tumor cells where they express proteins that are missing or found in low quantities. Oncoprex has a multimodal mechanism of action whereby it interrupts cell signaling pathways that cause replication and proliferation of cancer cells, re-establishes pathways for apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in cancer cells, and modulates the immune response against cancer cells. Oncoprex has also been shown to block mechanisms that create drug resistance. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.Genprex.com
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