Medicenna presents positive Phase 2b data

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Medicenna Therapeutics (TSX:MDNA) presented new clinical data at the 2017 Congress of Neurological Surgeons, demonstrating successful delivery in brain cancer patients and a reassuring safety profile for MDNA55, its lead immunotherapeutic agent targeting the interleukin-4 receptor (IL-4R).

MDNA55 is designed to selectively target cells expressing the IL4-R both in glioblastoma (GBM) tumor cells and in immunosuppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment.

In the study MDNA55-05, investigators administer MDNA55 directly into GBM brain tumors using a technique known as convection enhanced delivery (CED). 

CED allows precision delivery of MDNA55 at high concentrations into the tumor tissue while avoiding exposure to the rest of the body. The current Phase 2b clinical trial plans to enroll 52 adult patients with recurrent GBM at leading brain cancer centers in the U.S.

"Our initial analyses show a substantially higher proportion of the target tissue being covered than in previous similar trials,” senior investigator, Dr. John Sampson, said in a statement.

“In some cases, close to 100% of the tumor and the 1cm margin around it (at risk for tumor spread) has been successfully covered," he added.

Dr. Martin Bexon, head of clinical development for Medicenna, said drug delivery to the brain has been a challenge and these initial data are a significant advance in the company’s attempt to safely and efficiently deliver our targeted cancer immunotherapy agent, MDNA55.