Mesothelioma is a cancer which occurs in the thin layers of tissue (mesothelium) which surround most of the body’s internal organs. It’s often caused by asbestos exposure. However, symptoms can take up to 50 years to develop after the individual is exposed to the particulate. Currently, there is no adequate cure for the disease. However patients may receive radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, or a form of targeted therapy to minimize its effects.
That said, researchers have not given up on their search for a more effective therapeutic option. Curis Inc. has been working to develop a dual inhibitor of PDL1 and VISTA within mesothelioma cells. Considering over 90% of mesothelioma tumor cells express VISTA, this drug has the potential to be highly effective.
The company has just announced that their investigation of this treatment is moving ahead of schedule. The very first patient in their Phase 1 study has just received a dose of the drug.
This potential treatment is called CA-170. If clinical trials of the drug continue to indicate its potential, it could become a new orally administered therapy for mesothelioma patients with advanced lymphomas/tumors. This Phase 1 study has a cohort dedicated explicitly to these patients.
This trial is unique because CA-170 is currently the only anti-VISTA drug which is involved in a clinical trial. In preclinical studies, it has shown tolerability, safety, and anti-tumor activity. These results spanned tumor types.
Participants in the Phase 1 trial will be given one of two dose levels of CA-170. The study will evaluate the pharmacokinetics, clinical effects, pharmacodynamics, and safety of the drug.
Curis attributes their accelerated progress on this trial to a reallocation of resources decided upon last quarter. During this reallocation, the company decided to commit more of their resources to strengthening their clinical execution of products. This Phase 1 trial is evidence that this reorganization of resources has been successful.
The organization is confident and hopeful about the data they will receive from this study. They anticipate results will be available within the second half of this year.
You can read more about this Phase 1 study and the research Curis is working on for mesothelioma here.