Small and big pharma companies such as Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), Celldex Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CLDX), and Hologic Inc. (NASDAQ: HOLX) are ramping up efforts to help reduce or eliminate the growing breast cancer mortality rate.
As it stands now, breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in women in the U.S. It is estimated that 43,780 people — 43,250 women and 530 men — will die from breast cancer this year alone.
Globally, female breast cancer is the fifth leading cause of death. An estimated 684,996 women worldwide died from breast cancer in 2020, with metastatic breast cancer causing the vast majority of the deaths.
The increasing death rate has led companies like BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. (NASDAQ: BCTX) (NASDAQ: BCTXW) (TSX: BCT) to advance research and development into therapies that could prove more effective against breast and other cancers.
Focusing initially on breast cancer, BriaCell is dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with cancer with limited therapy options by developing novel immunotherapies to fight the disease.
Immunotherapies have become the forefront of cancer treatments because they use the body’s immune system to destroy cancer cells, offer the potential for higher levels of safety and efficacy than chemotherapy and may also prevent cancer recurrence.
BriaCell currently has a non-exclusive clinical trial collaboration with Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) to evaluate the effects of combinations of novel clinical candidates.
BriaCell is currently conducting a Phase I/II clinical trial of its lead product candidate, Bria-IMT™, in combination with the immunotherapy development candidate retifanlimab, an anti-PD-1 antibody provided by Incyte, for the treatment of advanced breast cancer.
Positive Clinical And Quality Of Life Data
On December 8, BriaCell presented positive safety/tolerability and efficacy data from its lead product candidate – Bria-IMT™ – summarized in three poster sessions during the 2022 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium ® (SABCS).
Summary Of The Positive Data
Positive clinical data reported includes tumor shrinkage, disease control, progression-free survival, and potential long-term survival benefit in advanced metastatic breast cancer patients treated with the Bria-IMT™ combination regimen.
“Better quality of life” and “less pain” reported by many gravely ill advanced metastatic breast cancer patients treated with the Bria-IMT™ combination regimen.
Notably, many patients remained in their study longer than other prior therapies, suggesting excellent tolerability and clinical effectiveness of the Bria-IMT™ combination regimen.
More positive data is expected as patients remain in the study.
Treatment remained well-tolerated with no dose-limiting toxicities.
The posters are summarized below and also available to view here: https://briacell.com/scientific-publications/.
Mayo Clinic Professor and Principal Clinical Investigator Saranya Chumsri, M.D., stated in an audio summary of the poster: “First, this is a heavily pretreated group of end-stage metastatic breast cancer (“MBC”) patients. For many of these patients, other therapies don’t exist or cannot be tolerated.”
“Bria-IMT™ does not have any theoretical cross-resistance or overlapping toxicity with other MBC treatments, which is why it is so encouraging to see responses across all MBC subtypes and a very manageable adverse event experience,” he added.
Dr. William V. Williams, BriaCell’s President and CEO, also commenting on the data, said, “We are impressed with the positive clinical and quality of life data in this very difficult-to-treat patient population who have failed multiple prior treatments. We’re delighted that many patients stayed on our study longer than their last therapy, suggesting the Bria-IMT™ combination regimen is both well tolerated and clinically effective.”
According to him, “these results have positive implications, both for our ongoing, randomized phase II study and for planned meetings with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the design of our pivotal study. Advanced MBC remains one of the most difficult cancers to treat.”
“There remains an urgent, unmet medical need to find well-tolerated and effective treatments for these gravely ill cancer patients who have only months to live and cannot tolerate the harsh side effects of other cancer treatments,” Williams concluded.
Read a detailed insight into the positive clinical and quality of life data in advanced metastatic breast cancer here.
BriaCell is an immuno-oncology-focused biotechnology company developing targeted and effective approaches for the management of cancer.
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