New Study Data on NVG-111 for MCL and CLL

According to a press release that can be found on AP News, new data have been released on a potential treatment – called NVG-111 – for both mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). These data were presented at the 2022 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, which is being held in Chicago from June 3rd until the 7th.

About These Two Rare Cancers

Before we can dive into NVG-111 and the corresponding data, we must first understand both MCL and CLL.

About MCL

MCL is a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that forms in the region of lymphocytes known as the mantle zone. Medical professionals are unsure as to why these lymphocytes become malignant and multiply out of control, but they do know that something triggers the release of the cyclin D1 protein, which causes B-cell growth and leads to MCL.

Symptoms of this cancer typically begin with swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, shoulders, elbows, and chest. Other effects include bowel issues, fever, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, bloating, heartburn, unintentional weight loss, pressure/pain in the lower back, lack of appetite, and a false sense of fullness. This cancer may spread throughout the body, and if it reaches the brain or spinal cord, additional symptoms may include poor balance, headaches, confusion, irritability, dizziness, and personality changes. Treatment may consist of monitoring if one’s cancer is in its earlier stages. Upon progression, treatment options are stem cell transplants, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy.

About CLL

CLL impacts the blood and bone marrow, specifically the white blood cells. To be even more specific, CLL sees heightened levels of abnormal lymphocytes. This causes symptoms like pain caused by an enlarged spleen, fever, frequent infections, weight loss, swollen but painless lymph nodes, fatigue, and night sweats. While these symptoms may not be apparent at first, they will appear and become more prominent as one’s cancer progresses.

Medical professionals are unsure as to what exactly causes CLL, but they do know that a genetic mutation of the blood-producing cells’ DNA is to blame. Research just needs to find out what this mutation is and how to fix it. In the meantime, doctors will treat CLL patients with targeted drug therapies, chemotherapy, and/or a bone marrow transplant.

Positive Data on NVG-111

Now that we understand what NVG-111 aims to treat, we can move on to the treatment itself. NVG-111 is a ROR1 targeting bispecific antibody T cell engager that was recently studied in a Phase 1/2 trial. 6 patients were enrolled and split into two groups, one of which was treated with accelerated dose titration (cohort 1), while the other received 30 µg/day flat dosing (cohort 2).

As of now, researchers have told us that the preliminary data is positive, especially in cohort 2. Of these three patients, all achieved a partial response. Two have undetectable MRD levels in the blood, with one actually being MRD-negative. In terms of safety, NVG-111 has been well-tolerated so far. The most common adverse events (AEs) include Grade 1 nausea, lethargy, thrombocytopenia, headaches, and vomiting.

As the trial continues, researchers are investigating dose escalation as well. They are already excited by the data they have, as they definitely warrant further investigation and development. We should learn more soon!

If you want to learn more about the trial, you should tune in to the poster presentation, titled First-in-Human Phase I Study of a ROR1 targeting bispecific T cell engager (NVG-111) shows evidence of efficacy in patients with relapsed refractory CLL and MCL, which aired on June 4th at 8 AM CDT. There will be plenty of other interesting presentations as well, so be sure to look into ASCO and all it has to offer!

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