XBiotech announces funding from MRC for Phase 2 study of bermekimab
XBiotech announced that the Medical Research Council, part of UK Research and Innovation, has awarded funding to study bermekimab therapy in a Phase 2 multi-center study in advanced cancers. The MRC will provide funding for all clinical costs of the Phase 2 study to treat patients with advanced lung, pancreatic and ovarian cancers. The phase 2 study will be conducted at multiple cancer centers across the UK. Patients will receive eight weekly doses of bermekimab and be assessed for tumor-related wasting and other quality of life symptoms, The study was developed in conjunction with the National Institute for Health Research Cancer & Nutrition Collaboration and the National Cancer Research Institute Supportive and Palliative Care Group. Bermekimab targets the inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1a and has been used in other innovative oncology studies. The Company previously met its primary endpoint in a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled study with bermekimab for the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer. The primary endpoint in the study was a novel symptom cluster, which assessed a combination of physical symptoms-pain, fatigue, anorexia and muscle wasting-that are key measures of patient quality of life and predictors of survival. Patients treated with bermekimab were significantly more likely to achieve the primary endpoint compared to placebo; moreover, patients who achieved the primary endpoint had one-fifth as many serious adverse events, were twice as likely to have stable disease, showed significant and clinically relevant improvement in all life quality measures, and had almost three-fold increase in survival compared to failures.