From The Editor | January 13, 2020

More On SPEAR T-Cell Platform, Initial Responses In Four Solid Tumor Indications


By Erin Harris, Editor-In-Chief, Cell & Gene
Follow Me On Twitter @ErinHarris_1

Dr. Elliott Norry
Dr. Elliott Norry

At JPM Healthcare Conference, Adaptimmune reported two confirmed Partial Responses (PRs) — one in a patient with liver cancer and one in a patient with melanoma. The company also reported two unconfirmed PRs — one in a patient with gastro‑esophageal junction cancer and one in a patient with head and neck cancer. These data further confirm the potential of Adaptimmune’s SPEAR T-cell platform for patients with multiple solid tumors. Data were previously reported showing compelling efficacy with ADP-A2M4 in synovial sarcoma.

Adrian Rawcliffe, Adaptimmune’s CEO stated that these responses demonstrate that their proprietary SPEAR T-cell platform is active and can overcome the challenges of treating a range of solid tumors with a T-cell therapy product. “These are early results and we need more patient data and durability information to determine which therapies to develop. Nonetheless, this is a critical demonstration of the value of our SPEAR T-cell therapies for people with cancer and a validation of the importance of our proprietary affinity engineering.”

I caught up with Dr. Elliott Norry, CMO, Adaptimmune for additional information about the confirmed and unconfirmed PRs. Here’s what he had to say.

Regarding both confirmed and both unconfirmed PRs mentioned below, please provide additional information as to how each one impacts the sector at this stage.

Dr. Norry: More than any individual response that we reported today, we are now demonstrating the capability of our TCR platform to address a range of solid tumors across multiple targets in patients with refractory and difficult to treat cancers. These patients have late-stage disease and have progressed following currently available treatments.

This is the first time we have demonstrated responses in 5 unique solid tumors (including synovial sarcoma – where we have previously reported very compelling data).

With this news — we now have responses across multiple tumor targets — MAGE-A4 and AFP — and multiple indications.

Although these are early data, we are particularly encouraged by the 100% reduction in target lesions in the first patient in the third dose cohort of our ADP-A2AFP trial, who was dosed at a higher target dose than the earlier groups.

Regarding solid tumor indications, what is their take on the outlook for 2020? What can the sector expect regarding advancement?

Dr. Norry: It is too early for us to speculate beyond the responses we have shared today. It is important to remember that these are very early data that need to mature. We expect to treat more patients across our trials and we will continue to evaluate the durability of responses along with translational data to determine which indications to develop further.

We are very excited by today’s news as a positive indicator of things to come and this is a critical demonstration of the value of our SPEAR T-cell therapies for people with cancer and a validation of the importance of our proprietary affinity engineering and ability to deliver these treatment to people with cancer.

We are working to garner more patient data in all our trials, including SURPASS, testing our first next-gen candidate ADP-A2M4CD8, the low -radiation sub-study with ADP-A2M4, and the ADP-A2AFP trial.

We will be sharing data updates at upcoming congresses.

In addition, we are working with multiple sites to treat patients with sarcoma in our Phase 2 SPEARHEAD-1 trial, as well as gearing up for our commercial preparation towards our ambition to launch our first approved product in 2022.