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Genome and Company Signs Second Clinical Trial Collaboration and Supply Agreement (Phase 2) With Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and Pfizer for Immuno-Oncology Microbiome Study

  • Genome and Company expands collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and Pfizer for further clinical combination study of GEN-001 in gastric cancers

  • Establishment of the efficient "clinical development strategy" for the global immuno-oncology microbiome treatment

SEOUL, South Korea, March 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Genome and Company (KOSDAQ: 314130), a leading global microbiome anti-cancer drug development company, signed a second clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement (CTCSA) with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and Pfizer Inc. with the aim of developing the world's first immuno-oncology microbiome therapeutic. The collaboration follows in just a year after signing the first agreement with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and Pfizer in December 2019 to conduct the first combination clinical trial of avelumab (BAVENCIO®) and GEN-001 (NCT04601402, "Study 101").


The objective of the clinical trial ("Study 201") under this newly entered CTCSA is to investigate the efficacy and safety of the combination of GEN-001 and avelumab for gastric and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma that continue to be difficult to treat. This trial will be conducted simultaneously at six or more hospital and medical center sites in the Republic of Korea.


With this clinical trial, Genome and Company will proceed with Phase 2a to assess the efficacy and safety of the combination of GEN-001 and avelumab using the defined recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D) of GEN-001 in combination with avelumab. Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and Pfizer will supply avelumab for use in the new company-led clinical trial, Study 201. The extended clinical collaboration between Genome and Company and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and Pfizer marks the first time that two consecutive clinical development collaborations have been executed between combination partners for immuno-oncology microbiome treatment.


Genome and Company is developing GEN-001 through an efficient clinical development roadmap in cooperation with experts. The company is leading clinical trials in systematic approaches to immediately advance to phase 2 upon the completion of a phase 1 study. Also, the company has achieved IND clearance by the US FDA and MFDS in the Republic of Korea for a variety of patient demographics as well as cancer types.


Dr. Jisoo Pae, CEO of Genome and Company, said, "This second CTCSA with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and Pfizer is the achievement of our outstanding R&D capabilities and the effective clinical collaboration that is established through the ongoing Study 101. We would be able to reach the oncology leadership position using immuno-oncology microbiome treatment especially in the Asian market through the additional clinical trial."


Under the terms of these agreements, Genome and Company will be the sponsor of the studies, and Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and Pfizer will supply avelumab for both Study 101 and Study 201. Both parties will have access to the clinical data.


About Genome & Company


Since its establishment in 2015, Genome & Company develops next waves of innovative drugs including anti-cancer microbiome therapeutics and novel target immune checkpoint inhibitors. With the acquisition of Scioto Biosciences, a US biotech, in August this year, the company has expanded its global microbiome pipeline into brain diseases and continues to pioneer the market in order to transform into a global microbiome healthcare group capable of research, development and production. For more information, please refer to our website http://www.genomecom.co.kr.


About GEN-001


GEN-001 is an oral microbiome therapeutic candidate developed to have immune modulating activities, resulting in potential partnership with immune checkpoint inhibitors. GEN-001 consists a single-strain bacteria (Lactococcus lactis) isolated from gut of healthy human volunteers that has been shown to activate dendritic cells, macrophages and T cell response. In preclinical studies, GEN-001 has shown optimal safety margin and synergistic effects in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors by enhancing the effect of suppressing the growth of both immune checkpoint inhibitor sensitive and resistant tumor models. A Phase 1/1b clinical trial is currently in progress in the US and Korea.


Avelumab Approved Indications


Avelumab (BAVENCIO®) is indicated in the US for the maintenance treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC) that has not progressed with first-line platinum-containing chemotherapy. BAVENCIO is also indicated for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic UC who have disease progression during or following platinum-containing chemotherapy or have disease progression within 12 months of neoadjuvant or adjuvant treatment with platinum-containing chemotherapy.


Avelumab in combination with axitinib is approved in the US for the first-line treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC).


In the US, the FDA granted accelerated approval for BAVENCIO for the treatment of adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and duration of response. Continued approval may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials.


Avelumab Important Safety Information from the US FDA-Approved Label


The warnings and precautions for avelumab (BAVENCIO®) include immune-mediated adverse reactions (such as pneumonitis and hepatitis including fatal cases, colitis, endocrinopathies, nephritis, and other immune-mediated adverse reactions as a single agent or in combination with axitinib which can be severe and have included fatal cases), infusion-related reactions, hepatotoxicity in combination with axitinib, major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in combination with axitinib which can be severe and have included fatal cases, and embryo-fetal toxicity.


Common adverse reactions (reported in at least 20% of patients) in patients treated with BAVENCIO® monotherapy include fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, diarrhea, nausea, infusion-related reaction peripheral edema, decreased appetite, urinary tract infection and rash. Common adverse reactions (reported in at least 20% of patients) in patients receiving BAVENCIO® in combination with axitinib include diarrhea, fatigue, hypertension, musculoskeletal pain, nausea, mucositis, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia, dysphonia, decreased appetite, hypothyroidism, rash, hepatotoxicity, cough, dyspnea, abdominal pain and headache. Grade 3-4 hematology laboratory value abnormalities reported in at least 10% of patients with Merkel cell carcinoma treated with BAVENCIO® monotherapy include lymphopenia; in patients receiving BAVENCIO® in combination with axitinib, grade 3-4 clinical chemistry abnormalities include blood triglyceride increased and lipase increased.


For full US Prescribing Information and Medication Guide for BAVENCIO®, please see http://www.BAVENCIO.com.


BAVENCIO® is a trademark of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.


SOURCE Genome & Company


Related Links


http://www.genomecom.co.kr