Genprex Announces U.S. Patent for REQORSA™ Immunogene Therapy in Combination with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors to Treat Cancers
August 16, 2022
Provides Protection for Therapeutic Combination in Acclaim-2 Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial
AUSTIN, Texas — (August 16, 2022) — Genprex, Inc. (“Genprex” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: GNPX), a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing life-changing therapies for patients with cancer and diabetes, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted Genprex U.S. Patent No: 11,278,592 B2. The patent covers methods of using REQORSATM Immunogene Therapy in conjunction with immune checkpoint inhibitors, through 2038.
“This new patent provides critical protection for our REQORSA gene therapy in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor, for example an anti-PD1 antibody, to treat cancer. This is important as our ongoing Acclaim-2 Phase 1/2 clinical trial combines REQORSA™ with Keytruda®, an anti-PD1 antibody, to treat non-small cell lung cancer,” noted Thomas Gallagher, Esq., Senior Vice President of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Genprex. “We continue to strengthen our intellectual property portfolio and continue to build protection around our technology as it safeguards our gene therapy with target-specific combination therapy, is a deterrent to would-be competitors and creates value around our core competencies.”
Acclaim-2 is an open-label, multi-center Phase 1/2 clinical trial evaluating the Company’s lead drug candidate, REQORSA™ Immunogene Therapy, in combination with Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) in patients with late-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease progressed after treatment with Keytruda. More information on Acclaim-2 can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov Identifier NCT05062980.
In 2021, Genprex received U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Fast Track Designation for treatment of the Acclaim-2 patient population.
Keytruda® is a registered trademark of Merck & Co. and is its largest selling drug with 2021 sales of more than $17 billion.
The Acclaim-2 trial is a Phase 1/2 open-label, dose-escalation and clinical response study of REQORSA in combination with Keytruda in patients with advanced, metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer who have progressed after treatment with Keytruda. The Company anticipates enrolling patients at approximately 15 clinical sites and estimates that the Phase 1 portion of the Acclaim-2 trial will enroll up to 30 patients and the Phase 2 portion will enroll approximately 126 patients. Patients enrolled in the Phase 2 portion of the study will be randomized 2:1 to either REQORSA and Keytruda combination therapy or to chemotherapy (docetaxel with or without ramucirumab). Patients will be treated until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity is experienced. Patients must have histologically confirmed unresectable stage III or IV NSCLC (any histology) with radiological progression on Keytruda and an ECOG performance status of 0 to 1. Genprex expects to complete the Phase 1 portion of Acclaim-2 by mid-2023.
REQORSA™ Immunogene Therapy (quaratusugene ozeplasmid) for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) uses Genprex’s unique, proprietary ONCOPREX® Nanoparticle Delivery System, which is the first systemic gene therapy delivery platform used for cancer in human clinical trials. The active ingredient in REQORSA is the TUSC2 gene, a tumor suppressor gene. REQORSA consists of the TUSC2 gene encapsulated in a nanoparticle made from lipid molecules with a net positive electrical charge. REQORSA is injected intravenously and can specifically target cancer cells, which generally have a negative electrical charge. Once REQORSA is taken up into a cancer cell, the TUSC2 gene is expressed, and the TUSC2 protein is capable of restoring certain defective functions arising in the cancer cell. REQORSA has a multimodal mechanism of action whereby it interrupts cell signaling pathways that cause replication and proliferation of cancer cells, re-establishes pathways for programmed cell death, or apoptosis, in cancer cells, and modulates the immune response against cancer cells. REQORSA has also been shown to block mechanisms that create drug resistance.
Tagrisso® is a registered trademark of AstraZeneca plc and its largest selling drug with 2021 sales of over $5 billion.
About Genprex, Inc.
Genprex, Inc. is a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing life-changing therapies for patients with cancer and diabetes. Genprex’s technologies are designed to administer disease-fighting genes to provide new therapies for large patient populations with cancer and diabetes who currently have limited treatment options. Genprex works with world-class institutions and collaborators to develop drug candidates to further its pipeline of gene therapies in order to provide novel treatment approaches. Genprex’s oncology program utilizes its unique, proprietary, non-viral ONCOPREX® Nanoparticle Delivery System, which the Company believes is the first systemic gene therapy delivery platform used for cancer in humans. ONCOPREX encapsulates the gene-expressing plasmids using lipid nanoparticles. The resultant product is administered intravenously, where it is then taken up by tumor cells that express proteins that are deficient. The Company’s lead product candidate, REQORSA™ (quaratusugene ozeplasmid), is being evaluated as a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). REQORSA has a multimodal mechanism of action that has been shown to interrupt cell signaling pathways that cause replication and proliferation of cancer cells; re-establish pathways for apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in cancer cells; and modulate the immune response against cancer cells. REQORSA has also been shown to block mechanisms that create drug resistance. In 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Fast Track Designation for REQORSA for NSCLC in combination therapy with AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso® (osimertinib) for patients with EFGR mutations whose tumors progressed after treatment with Tagrisso. In 2021, the FDA granted Fast Track Designation for REQORSA for NSCLC in combination therapy with Merck & Co’s Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) for patients whose disease progressed after treatment with Keytruda.
Cautionary Language Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of management, are not guarantees of performance and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty. These forward-looking statements should, therefore, be considered in light of various important factors, including those set forth in Genprex’s reports that it files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission and which you should review, including those statements under “Item 1A – Risk Factors” in Genprex’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021.
Because forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding: the timing and success of Genprex’s clinical trials and regulatory approvals, including the extent and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; the effect of Genprex’s product candidates, alone and in combination with other therapies, on cancer and diabetes; Genprex’s future growth and financial status; Genprex’s commercial and strategic partnerships, including those with its third party manufacturers and their ability to successfully perform and scale up the manufacture of its product candidates; and Genprex’s intellectual property and licenses.
These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as predictions of future events and Genprex cannot assure you that the events or circumstances discussed or reflected in these statements will be achieved or will occur. If such forward-looking statements prove to be inaccurate, the inaccuracy may be material. You should not regard these statements as a representation or warranty by Genprex or any other person that Genprex will achieve its objectives and plans in any specified timeframe, or at all. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Genprex disclaims any obligation to publicly update or release any revisions to these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.
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