The "Glioblastoma -- Brain Cancer: The Next Generation of Therapies" expert conference call was held Monday.
The call included management teams from Agenus (ticker: AGEN) and Immunocellular (IMUC), as well as three thought leaders in the space -- Andrew T. Parsa, MD, PhD; Michael J. Marchese, Professor and Chair, Department of Neurological Surgery at Northwestern University School of Medicine; and John A. Boockvar, MD, Professor of Neurological Surgery and Co-Director of the Brain and Spinal Tumor Program at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center.
The purpose of the call was to explore and understand the approaches of these companies and how they might change the treatment paradigm in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) [brain tumors].
Immunocellular's lead product is ICT-107, which we see as a second- or third-generation technology versus a first-generation vaccine such as Provenge. ICT-107 targets multiple antigens designed to attack the tumor and its core stem cells. The Food and Drug Administration granted the product orphan drug status, and we are now awaiting results from the phase II event-driven (mortality) study.
If the data show a survival benefit greater than the current standard of care (by four to five months) in glioblastoma, we believe we could see approval without a pivotal trial. We note that the phase 1 trial showed a median survival out to 38.4 months.
Agenus is developing G-100 and G-200 for glioblastoma and recurrent glioblastoma (rGBM). Agenus completed a phase II study in recurrent GBM with G-200, an autologous heat-shock protein (HSP) vaccine. The data showed median overall survival (OS) of 10.9 months, versus 7.5 months in a separate control group (which, in rGBM, is compelling).
Enrollment in a National-Cancer-Institute-Alliance-funded phase II OS trial evaluating G-200 with Avastin (bevacizumab) has begun. G-100 is currently in a phase II trial, with a data readout scheduled for the second h