ABIVAX presents novel data on the efficacy of its immune enhancer ABX196 in animal model of liver cancer at the World Vaccine Congress

  • ABX196 efficacious in reducing tumor growth and increasing survival in preclinical hepato-cellular cancer model
  • Strong enhancement of immune response in liver tissue
  • Potential synergy with checkpoint inhibitors (anti-PD-1)

Paris, October 12th, 2017 at 8:00a.m. CEST – ABIVAX (Euronext Paris: FR0012333284 – ABVX), is an innovative biotechnology company targeting the immune system to eliminate viral and inflammatory diseases as well as cancer using its unique technology platforms. Today, ABIVAX announces the oral presentation of exciting data on the anticancer effects of its immune enhancer ABX196 by Sandrine Crabe, Ph.D., Research & Development Director of Abivax, at the 18th World Vaccine Congress Europe. The World Vaccine Congress takes places Oct. 10-12 at the Fira Center of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Barcelona, Spain. Dr. Crabe will present the data on  Oct. 12 at 11:50 am in the Diamant Room of the Fira Center.

In her presentation,‘’ABX196, a promising iNKT agonist to enhance therapeutic efficacy in oncology’’ Dr. Crabe will present the ability of ABX196, an agonist of invariant Natural Killer T (iNKT) cells and Abivax’s lead development compound in cancer, to successfully block the growth of hepatocellular cancer (HCC) and to increase survival in a preclinical model.  In this model with 13 mice per group, the mean liver tumor invasion as scored by macroscopic evaluation was 56% in the control group, 43% for Sorafenib (p=ns), 7% for anti-PD-1 (p<0.01), 5% for ABX196 (p<0.01), and 0% for the combination of ABX196 and anti-PD-1 (p<0.001). A similar beneficial effect was seen for survival at day 61: control group: 31% sorafenib: 42% (p=ns), anti-PD-1: 92% (p,0.01), ABX196: 92% (p<0.01), and the combination of ABX196 and anti-PD-1: 100% (p<0.001). Thus, the observed therapeutic effects of ABX196 and/or anti-PD-1 treatments are highly statistically significant.

“The observed trend of a complementary effect seen when combining ABX196 with an anti-PD-1 is what we were hoping to see, based on our understanding of the mechanism of action of the molecule,” said Professor Luc Teyton, M.D., Ph.D., at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA. “Achieving 100% survival benefit and no tumor invasion is a superlative result. This powerful therapeutic effect is likely explained by the initiation of an immune response against the tumor, as immune-histologic staining revealed abundant presence of CD4 lymphocytes, as well as PD-1L positive cells, in liver tissue of ABX196 and/or anti-PD-1 treated mice, but not in the control or sorafenib groups. Furthermore, the finding of enhanced presence of PD-1L positive cells provides the rationale for the clinical development of ABX196 in HCC with immune checkpoint inhibitors.”

“We are very excited about the results of this preclinical proof of concept study in HCC”, said Professor Hartmut Ehrlich, M.D., CEO of ABIVAX. “We are especially impressed by the observations that ABX196 is superior to the standard of care in HCC, sorafenib, that it is on a par with anti-PD-1, and that the combination of ABX196 and anti-PD-1 is even more compelling. The fact that ABX196 already successfully completed a phase 1 clinical trial in healthy volunteers allows us to take this exciting new compound forward in a clinical trial in HCC in 2018. This will be a critical step towards a future partnership in immuno-oncology for ABIVAX.”

About ABX196

ABX196 is a first-in-class iNKT agonist boosting the immune response in cancer. ABX196, a synthetic agonist (glycolipid) of iNKT (invariant Natural Killer T) cells in a liposomal formulation is largely derived from the technology and exclusive patent rights transferred to ABIVAX by The Scripps Research Institute, the University of Chicago, and Brigham Young University. A phase I clinical trial in healthy volunteers has been completed and demonstrated safety and tolerability as well as the activation of iNKT cells. Preclinical studies have shown the potential of ABX196 in oncology, in particular in HCC and in turning melanomas not responsive to anti-PD-1 (cold) to tumors responsive to anti-PD-1 (hot). 

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