OncoSec Medical (NSDQ:ONCS) said today that it inked a clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with Merck (NYSE:MRK) to evaluate the combination of its ImmunoPulse IL-12 electroporation device with Merck’s Keytruda therapy in a Phase II clinical trial.
The trial aims to evaluate the drug-device combination in patients with metastatic melanoma – specifically patients who experienced disease progression after previous treatment with an anti-PD-1 therapy.
OncoSec’s electroporation device delivers a sequence of short-duration electrical pulses to increase the cancer cell membrane’s permeability and more efficiently deliver cancer-killing drugs.
“We are honored to collaborate with Merck – one of the world’s leading cancer immuno-oncology companies – to help bring innovative cancer treatments to patients with unmet medical needs,” OncoSec president & CEO Punit Dhillon said in prepared remarks. “This collaboration is supported by our recent clinical data demonstrating the potential ability of ImmunoPulse IL-12 to rescue patients who do not initially respond to anti-PD-1 therapy in melanoma. In addition to our recent Fast Track Designation for this population, OncoSec is uniquely positioned to meaningfully impact clinical outcomes for patients who do not currently have any other options. By working with innovative immuno-oncology leaders, this alliance underpins OncoSec’s strategy to combine our ImmunoPulse IL-12 program with checkpoint inhibitor therapies to advance the care of patients.”
According to the agreement, OncoSec will sponsor and fund the clinical trial and Merck will provide the supply of Keytruda. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
Shares in the San Diego-based biotech jumped on news of the collaboration this morning. In mid-afternoon activity, ONCS shares were trading at $1.10 apiece, up 3%.