KOL Call Highlights Pelareorep's Unique Ability to Activate the Immune System in Late Stage Multiple Myeloma

Safety cohort in the investigator sponsored multiple myeloma study, receiving both carfilzomib and Opdivo®, is now complete and pelareorep will be added to the combination in the next cohort in the coming weeks

ROTH Capital Partners recently hosted a KOL featuring two leading oncologists working in the field of multiple myeloma.  The call focused on data presented at the 61st American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition, highlighting that carfilzomib promotes reovirus infection, that pelareorep upregulates PD-L1, and that delivery of additional data from ongoing pelareorep studies in multiple myeloma is planned for presentation at ASCO in June 2020.

Dr. Craig Hofmeister M.D., of the Winship Cancer Institute in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine stated, "I think that carfilzomib promotes pelareorep infection by suppressing the innate antiviral response and our data suggest that it does not get in the way of T-cell activation.  Pelareorep infection, not proteasome inhibition, can upregulate PD-L1 expression on myeloma cells and the adaptive immune system can then assist in clearing infected tumor cells.  The combination in fact enhances the body's immune attack on infected myeloma cells."

Dr. Hofmeister also confirmed that adding PD-1 inhibition is appropriate in these patients, as viral infection with replication has been associated with an increase in PD-L1 tumor expression preclinically.

The call also discussed the competitive landscape for refractory multiple myeloma and the paucity of available therapies to treat these patients.  Dr. Flavia Pichiorri Ph.D., of the Judy and Bernard Briskin Center for Multiple Myeloma Research at City of Hope stated that, “Reovirus is the only strategy I see in the market that is completely different and may be able to activate the immune system of these patients.  It would be a salvage therapy for now, but so many patients need a salvage therapy after being refractory to other therapies."

Given that all patients eventually relapse and this population would have failed many therapies, therapeutic novelty would likely offer some benefit, especially if it promoted sensitivity to checkpoint inhibitors. The experts opined that a 30% response rate and a response duration better than that for Xpovio would make pelareorep compelling in this setting.

For more information on the conference call, see the full release here.