– With the Stanford Cancer Institute joining as a clinical trial partner, Tessa’s Phase III trial for nose cancer (nasopharyngeal cancer) is now widely accessible across multiple locations in the U.S.
– The therapy is based on Tessa’s Virus-Specific T cell platform which is showing compelling results in the treatment of solid tumors
Tessa Therapeutics (Tessa), a clinical stage immunotherapy company, announced that the Stanford Cancer Institute recently joined the company’s trial network which now consists of seven hospitals across the United States. The company’s Phase III trial targets advanced nose cancer, or nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC), with T cell immunotherapy.
The first T cell infusion under the trial in the U.S. was carried out at City of Hope National Medical Center. Speaking about the trial, the site’s Principal Investigator Dr. Erminia Massarelli said, “We recognize the potential of Tessa’s VST technology to treat solid tumors and are working closely with the Tessa team to bring these innovative therapies to patients who currently have few treatment options. The first infusion was well tolerated, and we look forward to continuing this important work.”
In addition to the Stanford Cancer Institute and City of Hope National Medical Center, other U.S. sites include UCSF Medical Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Baylor Scott & White Health, as well as other centers of excellence in Massachusetts and California.
Andrew Khoo, co-founder and CEO of Tessa Therapeutics, said, “Our partnership with seven clinical trial sites in the U.S. underscores our commitment not only to developing next-generation immunotherapies but also to making them accessible to NPC patients globally. The expansion of our Phase III NPC trial recruitment will allow us to further strengthen our operations and experience in the U.S.”
Han Chong Toh, M.D., Tessa’s Chief Medical Officer, added, “Tessa’s VST technology holds the promise of becoming a treatment platform for a wide range of cancers, and we are actively expanding our portfolio to include some of the world’s major cancer indications. In addition to the Phase III NPC trial, we are currently conducting a Phase I trial for HPV-associated cervical cancer and oropharyngeal cancer in the U.S. which we aim to progress into Phase II in 2018.”
The immunotherapy treatment under investigation, TT10, is based on Tessa’s proprietary Virus-specific T Cell (VST) platform. This treatment extracts T cells from the patient’s blood, enhances the immune cells’ anti-tumor potency, selectively expands them in the laboratory, and then infuses the cells back into the patient. The infused VSTs recognize and kill virus-associated tumor cells that they encounter.
Tessa Therapeutics’ NPC Phase III trial is the world’s largest Phase III T cell immunotherapy trial for any cancer indication. In addition to the seven recruitment sites in the U.S., the company is enrolling advanced NPC patients in four other countries across 23 sites. Trial enrolment has now passed the half-way mark.
Tessa’s Phase II trial on 35 patients reported the best survival outcome to-date for first-line treatment of advanced NPC when compared to historical clinical trials in similar settings. The two- and three-year overall survival rates were at 62.9 percent and 37.1 percent respectively, with no severe (Grade 3 and above) adverse effects observed during the immunotherapy phase. The treatment protocol for both the Phase II and the Phase III NPC trial consists of four cycles of gemcitabine and carboplatin followed by up to six infusions of Epstein-Barr Virus-Specific T cells.
Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is a cancer that originates in the nasopharynx, an area at the upper part of the throat behind the nose. Approximately 92,0001 new cases of NPC are diagnosed worldwide each year of which close to 75,0001 are from Asia and as many as 35,0001 from China.
About Tessa Therapeutics
Tessa Therapeutics is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with the scientific vision of revolutionizing the treatment of cancer by redirecting the body’s potent anti-viral immune response to recognize and kill cancer cells. Tessa’s core virus-specific T cell (VST) platform has shown compelling results in the treatment of solid tumors, and the company is building a portfolio of therapies addressing a wide range of tumors by combining the qualities of its T cell platform with complementary technologies. Tessa’s lead Phase III trial for advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is the world’s largest Phase III T cell immunotherapy trial for any cancer indication. The company has built up robust operational and supply chain capabilities to successfully deliver autologous T cell therapy treatments to a large patient pool across five countries. The combination of technologies from its academic, clinical, and commercial research partners have enabled the company to create a fully-integrated approach to the treatment of cancer with immunotherapy.