RhoVac's market research shows great potential for a cancer vaccine preventing recurrence of metastatic disease in multiple cancers
Nov 29, 2021
Lund, November 29, 2021. RhoVac AB ("RhoVac") is a Swedish immuno-oncology company, whose drug candidate, RV001 (onilcamotide), is a cancer vaccine that aims to prevent recurrence of cancer through the formation of metastases after initial surgery or radiation therapy. The drug candidate is in the final stages of the BraVac international clinical phase IIb study in prostate cancer. In the event of a successful outcome it is considered highly likely that onilcamotide will be suitable for development also in other cancers. The company announces today that it has completed a market survey of other current cancer treatment regimens, which finds that there is a great potential for a cancer vaccine with a tolerable side effect profile that acts to prevent cancer recurrence with metastasis following surgery and radiation therapy.
A summary of the results of the market research will be presented by RhoVac's CEO, Anders Månsson at Aktiespararna's Stora Aktiedagen Stockholm on November 30, at 16.00, see https://www.aktiespararna.se/Stockholm.
As previously announced, RhoVac has conducted a market research project into other cancers to evaluate the potential for RV001 (onilcamotide) in addition to the potential in prostate cancer, the indication that is now the subject of a clinical phase IIb study (BRaVac). RhoVac notes that a functioning and well-tolerated tissue agnostic cancer vaccine, used after treatment of the primary tumor in order to prevent the formation of secondary tumors (i.e. metastasis) and recurrence of cancer, should have great potential for broad use in oncology. The survey also finds that cancer recurrence is a particularly potent and common problem in all major cancer areas. Even though in other cancers, unlike in prostate cancer, there are often so-called adjuvant treatments available aimed at preventing relapse, they have considerable drawbacks. Usually, they involve both radiation and chemotherapy with the associated side effects and are therefore mainly given to high-risk patients. RhoVac suggests that the study shows clearly that a less toxic and relapse preventing treatment could benefit a broader patient group.
The material from the market research is very extensive - below are the main conclusions in the picture drawn:
- Breast cancer ranks as the most frequently diagnosed cancer, with 531,051 cases in the studied markets in 2020. The top three cancers (breast, prostate and colorectal) account for more cases (~1.4 million) than the sum of the remaining 7 cancers in the top 10 list (~1.2 million).
- For all of these cancers, an increase in cases, seen over a ten-year period, is expected in virtually all markets. For all indications, except non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer, the vast majority of patients (>68%) have non-metastatic disease at diagnosis.
- The frequency of metastatic relapses is generally common, and the frequency varies depending on the extent of the disease at diagnosis. In kidney cancer and bladder cancer, two uro-oncology indications with significant target group synergy with prostate cancer, 80-90% of patients present with local cancer, but 20-50% of them eventually develop metastases. In kidney cancer there is essentially no adjuvant therapy on offer, and in bladder cancer there is BCG and chemotherapy, both associated with considerable toxicity, and therefore these cancers could be particularly interesting as potential target indications for RhoVac's vaccine.
There are several different adjuvant therapies approved for use in all studied cancer indications (except kidney cell cancer).
- Adjuvant therapy is usually recommended for patients in later stages or in high-risk disease, but not for those with very early stage or specific risk factors that affect patients' acceptance of a therapy, as the risks and side effects are not necessarily proportional to the potential benefits.
- Given the safety and adverse reaction profile of onilcamotide demonstrated in the Phase I/II study (NCT03199872), it is conceivable that the drug candidate could come recommended as an adjuvant treatment to a broader group of patients with early-stage diseases in several different cancer types, as the benefit-risk ratio is likely to be beneficial compared to currently available adjuvant therapies.
Overall, the market research showed that the medical need for a cancer vaccine to prevent metastasis and recurrence of cancer is great and that this need spans a range of major metastatic cancer indications.
RhoVac CEO, Anders Månsson, comments: "I am very pleased that we have conducted this market research to show, in black and white, the potential for development in other cancers as well, provided that we reach a clinical proof of concept in prostate cancer with BRaVac. There is clearly great potential in many different cancers for a cancer vaccine that can show that with a tolerable side effect profile, it reduces the risk of relapse and metastatic disease, after completed curative treatment for the primary tumor."
This disclosure contains information that RhoVac is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation (EU nr 596/2014). The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact person, on 29-11-2021 08:37 CET.