Heat Biologics Inc (NASDAQ:HTBX) recently said that the survival results and top-line response of Phase 1b study evaluating lung cancer treatment with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s drug showed positive signs. The company reported HS-110/Nivolumab Combination for treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in Austria at International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer Annual Meeting in Vienna.

About the trial results

Nivolumab (Opdivo®), it is known, is Bristol-Myers Squibb’s anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor and the study conducted included combination of this drug along with company’s indigenous HS-110.

Dr. Daniel Morgensztern, the principal investigator of the study, during his presentation said that HS-110/nivolumab combination can be received well with consistent safety profile. The study was conducted over a period of one year, during which eight trial patients were applied to this drug combination.

The results show that HS-110/nivolumab combination did not show any additional toxicity among patients, in comparison to nivolumab’s single agent use. Heat Biologics Inc stated that a few patients also generated strong antigen-specific immune response. Additionally, it is learnt that the patients who were responding well to this combination of drugs (immune responders) had longer survival period, in comparison to non-immune responders, despite sharing the same baseline for immune test.

Combination of drugs received well among patients

The company told that during the study, immune responders had as much as 50% objective response rate (ORR), in comparison to 0% ORR among non-immune responders. The combination s perceived on a positive side and is an important development in the study. This is so because as of now, the independent use of checkpoint inhibitors has been shown to be fruitful for dealing with already-existing tumors with high tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes.

It is still important nevertheless that the need of non-immune responders having lower TIL tumors should be addressed properly.

 Responding to the discovery of trial results, Dr. Morgensztern said that the company seems to be enjoying the encouragement received from optimistic data of the trial. He explained that the drug combination was successful in showing active CD8+ T cell immune response.

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