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Faron publishes cancer immunotherapy study findings

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 07 Dec 2023

Faron publishes cancer immunotherapy study findings

(Sharecast News) - Faron Pharmaceuticals announced the publication of the comprehensive findings from the groundbreaking phase one and two 'MATINS' trial of bexmarilimab on Thursday - its humanised monoclonal anti-CLEVER-1 antibody aimed at transforming the landscape of anticancer immunotherapies.
The AIM-traded firm said the results, titled 'Bexmarilimab-induced macrophage activation leads to treatment benefit in solid tumours: the phase I/II first-in-human MATINS trial', was published in Cell Reports Medicine.

It said the key Clever-1 target was known for its high expression in the most immunosuppressive macrophages, playing a pivotal role in hindering antigen presentation and suppressing anti-tumour immune responses.

Bexmarilimab was designed to counteract that by activating the immune system, triggering anti-tumor reactions.

The trial sought to assess the safety and efficacy of bexmarilimab in patients with treatment-refractory solid tumours.

Notably, the trial demonstrated that bexmarilimab monotherapy showed outstanding safety and tolerability in a cohort of over 200 patients, with no dose-limiting toxicities observed.

Disease control rates correlated with enhanced survival and were consistent with higher pre-treatment intratumoral CLEVER-1 levels and low baseline IFNɣ signalling, which subsequently increased during treatment.

Furthermore, transcriptomics profiling of the tumours revealed that bexmarilimab effectively activated intratumoral macrophages and stimulated IFNɣ and T-cell receptors in a subset of patients.

That activation, in turn, translated into disease control and prolonged survival.

"Positive phase one and two data published in Cell Reports Medicine highlights bexmarilimab's potential to overcome cancer immune resistance by restoring macrophage immune function," said Dr Petri Bono, chief medical officer of Terveystalo Finland and the principal investigator of the MATINS study.

"We are pleased to see that bexmarilimab was safe and very well-tolerated, achieving disease control and prolonged survival in a proportion of patients with very late-stage solid tumours who have exhausted all standard treatment options.

"The observed stimulation of immune responses including macrophage activation increased IFNɣ signalling, and improved survival are particularly compelling given the challenging context of the late-stage, treatment-refractory disease patient population and the inclusion of nonimmunogenic cold tumours in this first-in-human trial."

Dr Bono said the results validated the macrophage-targeted approach and underscored bexmarilimab's potential as a novel immunotherapy in late-stage cancers, especially resistance to PD-1 blockade.

"We look forward to generating additional data with this novel and innovative macrophage-targeting immunotherapeutic antibody bexmarilimab."

Reporting by Josh White for


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