- The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) has awarded Oncolytics Biotech (TSX:ONC) a US$5 million grant to accelerate its research into treatments for pancreatic cancer
- The company will use the funds for ongoing clinical research on pelareorep, its investigational immunotherapy treatment, in combination with modified Folfirinox chemotherapy
- Oncolytics Biotech is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on cancer immunotherapy
- Oncolytics Biotech stock (TSX:ONC) is up by 72.29 per cent over the past year
The annual grant, known as the Therapeutic Accelerator Award, adds to the more than US$208 million PanCAN has invested since 2003 to advance scientific research on pancreatic cancer.
The network is recognizing Oncolytics Biotech for its “promising work on pelareorep, an investigational immunotherapy treatment that introduces double-stranded RNA into cancer cells, which stimulates anti-cancer inflammatory effects, including innate and adaptive immune responses and the activation and recruitment of T cells into the tumor,” according to a statement released Tuesday.
Oncolytics will allocate the funds to ongoing research focused on a clinical trial with pelareorep in combination with modified Folfirinox chemotherapy with or without an immune checkpoint inhibitor. This treatment would allow all patients with advanced pancreatic cancer to benefit from pelareorep’s potential cancer-fighting abilities.
Contingent on results, the company may then proceed with the treatment’s late-stage development through the PanCAN Precision Promise adaptive clinical trial platform. The combination of pelareorep, gemcitabine, nab-paclitaxel and atezolizumab was granted fast-track designation by the FDA in 2022 and will be part of Precision Promise, which is slated for 2024.
Besides being aggressive and hard to treat, “pancreatic cancer is estimated to be the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States before 2030,” the statement continued. Despite this ominous prediction, research is often ignored because pancreatic cancer affects a smaller number of people compared with more pervasive cancers.
“This generous grant will enable early- and late-stage patients with pancreatic cancer to potentially benefit from another commonly employed chemotherapy backbone, as Folfirinox and gemcitabine + nab-paclitaxel are the most frequently used chemotherapy standards of care in both the first- and second-line setting. By teaming up with PanCAN, we believe we may be able to expedite development and provide pancreatic cancer patients with a bespoke immunotherapeutic treatment option,” Dr. Matt Coffey, president and CEO of Oncolytics Biotech, said in the statement.
Oncolytics Biotech is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing pelareorep, an intravenously delivered immunotherapeutic agent that has demonstrated promising results in phase 2 studies in breast and pancreatic cancers. Potential investors can learn more about the company by reading our June 2023 profile.
Oncolytics Biotech stock (TSX:ONC) last traded at $2.86 per share. The stock is up by 72.29 per cent over the past year.
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