AVEO Oncology (NASDAQ: AVEO) and EUSA Pharma today announced that previously reported results from the Phase 1b/2 TiNivo study of oral (PO) tivozanib, AVEO’s next-generation vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) drug candidate, in combination with intravenous (IV) nivolumab (OPDIVO®, Bristol-Myers Squibb), an immune checkpoint, or PD-1, inhibitor, for the treatment of advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), were published in Annals of Oncology. The article, titled “TiNivo: Safety and Efficacy of Tivozanib-Nivolumab Combination Therapy in Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma”, is available online first via this link.
“With a favorable tolerability profile, I believe that tivozanib holds potential to serve as a highly relevant VEGF TKI to use in combination with immunotherapy,” said Laurence Albiges, MD, PhD, chair of the genitourinary group and vice chair of the department of cancer medicine at the Gustave Roussy Institute in Paris. “Additionally, the combination demonstrated anti-tumor activity and extended progression free survival (PFS), suggestive of the potential for favorable durability of response. These results serve as impetus for the continued evaluation of this promising combination.”
“Evidenced by its activity, favorable tolerability profile, and its ability to significantly reduce regulatory T cells1, we believe tivozanib could serve as a VEGF TKI of choice in the immunotherapy combination setting,” said Michael Bailey, president and chief executive officer of AVEO. “As we continue to execute on the DEDUCTIVE trial of tivozanib in combination with IMFINZI® (durvalumab) in hepatocellular carcinoma, we look forward to establishing next steps in the clinic for the tivozanib-nivolumab combination in mRCC.”
“We are pleased to see the publication of data from the TiNivo study, highlighting the favorable tolerability profile of the molecule in the setting of immuno-oncology agent combination,” said Lee Morley, chief executive officer of EUSA Pharma. “We continue the commercial launch of FOTIVDA® (tivozanib) in Europe for the first line treatment of RCC and are excited by the potential of tivozanib in other oncology settings.”
The Phase 1b/2 study enrolled a total of 28 patients. The Phase 2 portion of the study (n=22) was designed to assess the safety, tolerability, and anti-tumor activity of the full dose and schedule of PO tivozanib (1.5 mg/QD for 21 days followed by a 7-day rest period), as established in the Phase 1b portion of the study (n=6), in combination with IV nivolumab (240 mg every 2 weeks). The combination was generally well tolerated and showed additive or synergistic activity for objective response rate and PFS in both treatment naïve and previously treated patients with mRCC. Overall median PFS for the 25 patients treated at the study’s full dose and schedule was 18.9 months (95% CI: 16.4; NR), with a median follow-up of 19.0 months. Median PFS for previously untreated patients (n=12) was 18.9 months, while median PFS for previously treated patients (n=13) has not yet been reached as of the data cutoff date. An objective response rate (complete response + partial response) of 56% was observed, including one treatment naïve patient (1/12) achieving a complete response, and a disease control rate of 96% (complete response + partial response + stable disease) was observed. Treatment-related Grade 3/4 adverse events (AEs) were reported in 20 patients (80%). Seven patients (28%) discontinued due to treatment-related AEs. The most common treatment-related Grade 3/4 AE was hypertension, reported in 13 patients (52%). Overall, four patients (17%) experienced a dose reduction of tivozanib due to AEs.
Tivozanib is an oral, once-daily, next-generation vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) discovered by Kyowa Kirin and approved as FOTIVDA® for the treatment of adult patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in the European Union and other countries in the EUSA territory. It is a potent, selective and long half-life inhibitor of all three VEGF receptors and is designed to optimize VEGF blockade while minimizing off-target toxicities, potentially resulting in improved efficacy and minimal dose modifications.2,3 Tivozanib is being studied in the TIVO-3 trial, which is supporting a regulatory submission of tivozanib in the U.S. seeking marketing approval as a treatment for relapsed or refractory RCC. Tivozanib has been shown to significantly reduce regulatory T-cell production in preclinical models1 and has demonstrated synergy in combination with nivolumab (anti PD-1) in a Phase 2 study in RCC.4 Tivozanib has been investigated in several tumor types, including renal cell, hepatocellular, colorectal, ovarian and breast cancers. Tivozanib is also being studied by partner Kyowa Kirin in non-oncology indications.
About AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
AVEO is an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company committed to delivering medicines that provide a better life for cancer patients. AVEO’s strategy is to focus its resources toward development and commercialization of its product candidates in North America, while leveraging partnerships to support development and commercialization in other geographies. AVEO’s lead candidate, tivozanib, is approved as FOTIVDA® in the European Union and other countries in the EUSA territory for the treatment of adult patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. AVEO is working to develop and potentially commercialize tivozanib in the U.S. as a treatment for renal cell carcinoma and hepatocellular carcinoma. AVEO has previously reported promising early clinical data on ficlatuzumab (anti-HGF mAb) in head and neck cancer, acute myeloid leukemia and pancreatic cancer and is conducting a randomized Phase 2 confirmatory clinical trial of ficlatuzumab in head and neck cancer. AVEO’s earlier-stage pipeline includes several monoclonal antibodies in oncology development, including AV-203 (anti-ErbB3 mAb), AV-380 (anti-GDF15 mAb) and AV-353 (anti-Notch 3 mAb). AVEO is committed to creating an environment of diversity and inclusion as a foundation for innovation.
About EUSA Pharma
Founded in March 2015, EUSA Pharma is a world-class biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology and rare disease. The company has extensive commercial operations in the United States and Europe, alongside a direct presence in select other markets across the globe. EUSA Pharma is led by an experienced management team with a strong record of building successful pharmaceutical companies and is supported by significant funding raised from leading life science investor EW Healthcare Partners.
AVEO’s Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements of AVEO within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve substantial risks and uncertainties. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “expect,” “hope,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “seek,” “look forward,” “advance,” “goal,” “strategy,” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements about: the potential for tivozanib as a treatment option for patients with advanced HCC or relapsed/refractory or advanced RCC; the potential efficacy, safety, and tolerability of tivozanib, both as a stand-alone drug candidate and in combination with immunotherapy; AVEO’s execution of its clinical and regulatory strategy for tivozanib; AVEO’s plans and strategies for current and future clinical trials of tivozanib, ficlatuzumab and AV-380 and for commercialization of tivozanib in the United States; and AVEO’s strategy, prospects, plans and objectives for its product candidates and for the Company generally. AVEO has based its expectations and estimates on assumptions that may prove to be incorrect. As a result, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these expectations and estimates. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements that AVEO makes due to a number of important factors, including risks relating to: whether the results of TIVO-3 are sufficient to obtain marketing approval for tivozanib in the U.S., which turns on the ability of AVEO to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the FDA the safety and efficacy of tivozanib based upon the findings of TIVO-3, including its data with respect to PFS, the rate of adverse events, OS and other information that the FDA may consider to be relevant to an approval determination; AVEO’s ability, and the ability of its licensees, to demonstrate to the satisfaction of applicable regulatory agencies such as the FDA the safety, efficacy and clinically meaningful benefit of AVEO’s product candidates, including, in particular, tivozanib and ficlatuzumab; and AVEO’s ability to enter into and maintain its third party collaboration and license agreements, and its ability, and the ability of its strategic partners, to achieve development and commercialization objectives under these arrangements. AVEO faces other risks relating to its business as well, including risks relating to the timing and costs of seeking and obtaining regulatory approval; AVEO’s and its collaborators’ ability to successfully enroll and complete clinical trials; AVEO’s ability to maintain compliance with regulatory requirements applicable to its product candidates; AVEO’s ability to obtain and maintain adequate protection for intellectual property rights relating to its product candidates; AVEO’s ability to successfully implement its strategic plans, including its ability to successfully launch and commercialize tivozanib if it may be approved for commercialization by the FDA; AVEO’s ability to raise the substantial additional funds required to achieve its goals, including those goals pertaining to the development and commercialization of tivozanib; unplanned capital requirements; AVEO’s ability to access future borrowings under the Hercules loan facility, which turns on the achievement of milestones related to the approval and commercialization of tivozanib in the U.S., which milestones may not be achieved; adverse general economic and industry conditions; the potential adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on AVEO’s business continuity, financial condition, results of operations, liquidity and ability to successfully and timely enroll, complete and read-out data from its clinical trials; competitive factors; and those risks discussed in the sections titled “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations—Liquidity and Capital Resources” included in AVEO’s quarterly and annual reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and in other filings that AVEO makes with the SEC. The forward-looking statements in this press release represent AVEO’s views as of the date of this press release, and subsequent events and developments may cause its views to change. While AVEO may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, it specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. You should, therefore, not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing AVEO's views as of any date other than the date of this press release.
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David Pitts, Argot Partners