LAVA Therapeutics NV (NASDAQ:LVTX) has entered into a clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with Merck & Co Inc (NYSE:MRK) to evaluate its anti-PD-1 therapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in combination with LAVA-1207 in patients with therapy refractory metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will provide pembrolizumab for the dose escalation and expansion phases of LAVA’s ongoing Phase 1/2a study of LAVA-1207, with the combination arm expected to be initiated in the first half of 2024.
Enrollment and dose escalation will also continue in the LAVA-1207 monotherapy and interleukin-2 arms of the study.
“We are excited to work with Merck as we continue to unlock the therapeutic potential of LAVA-1207 and explore its potential capabilities in combination with KEYTRUDA,” said Stephen Hurly, President and Chief Executive Officer of LAVA.
The company says that, to date, LAVA-1207 has demonstrated a favorable safety profile and shown preliminary signs of anti-tumor activity.
LAVA-1207 is a proprietary Gammabody that conditionally activates Vγ9Vδ2 (Vgamma9 Vdelta2) T cells, upon crosslinking to prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA), to trigger the potent and preferential killing of PSMA-positive tumor cells in patients with prostate cancer, including metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Price Action: LVTX shares are up 50% at $2.34 on the last check Thursday.
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