Oncolytics Biotech, Inc. (USA) (NASDAQ:ONCY) announced that Dr. D.W. Sborov and colleagues made a poster presentation at the 15th International Myeloma Workshop (IMW). The poster presentation, entitled “Combination Carfilzomib and the Viral Oncolytic Agent REOLYSIN® in Patients with Relapsed Multiple Myeloma: A Pilot Study Investigating Viral Proliferation,” discloses initial findings from a pilot study (NCI-9603) in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma treated using the combination of carfilzomib and REOLYSIN®. The IMW runs from September 23rd to 26th inRome, Italy.

Highlights of the data presented include:

  • 100% of patients (8 of 8) experienced an objective response as measured by changes in blood monoclonal protein. Of these, 2 patients had a very good partial response (VGPR), 3 patients had a partial response (PR) and 3 patients had a minor response (MR);
  • Only one patient has progressed to date and five of eight remain on study;
  • The combination of carfilzomib and REOLYSIN® produced a significant (p=0.005) increase in caspase-3, a marker associated with apoptotic (programmed) cell death; and
  • The treatment combination was associated with an increased infiltration of CD8+ T-cells and the significant (p=0.005) upregulation of PD-L1, suggesting that the addition of a PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitor may further optimize the treatment regimen.

“These findings demonstrate that the combination of carfilzomib and REOLYSIN® shows promise in hematological malignancies like multiple myeloma and provide compelling evidence that such drug combinations promote viral replication and cancer cell death,” said Dr. Matt Coffey, Chief Operating Officer of Oncolytics. “Based on these results, we intend to move into randomized studies in this indication.”

The investigators noted that this is the first time a REOLYSIN®-based combination has been tested in relapsed multiple myeloma patients. A previous single-agent study conducted by the collaborators in this patient population showed that REOLYSIN® was well tolerated. The collaborators and others were noted to have conducted preclinical investigations that demonstrated that the combination of REOLYSIN® and carfilzomib synergistically increased the killing of multiple myeloma cells. This provided the clinical rationale for this study. In this study, the combination of carfilzomib and REOLYSIN® produced a significant (p=0.005) increase in caspase-3, a marker associated with apoptotic cell death. The researchers also determined that the combination of REOLYSIN® and carfilzomib increases infiltration of CD8+ T-cells and significantly (p=0.005) upregulates PD-L1.  The investigators concluded that these findings necessitate continued investigation, and suggest that the addition of a PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitor may further optimize the REOLYSIN® and carfilzomib regimen.

“To this point, multiple myeloma has not responded to checkpoint inhibitor therapy,” said Dr. Brad Thompson, President and CEO of Oncolytics. “The combination of REOLYSIN® and carfilzomib upregulates PD-L1 and increases infiltration of CD8+ T-cells, which may make the tumor sensitive to anti-PD-L1 therapy. The follow-on randomized study we are currently planning is expected to have a patient group treated with the combination of REOLYSIN®, a standard of care chemotherapy, and a checkpoint inhibitor, as well as a patient group receiving REOLYSIN® and a standard of care chemotherapy.” (Original Source)

Shares of Oncolytics Biotech closed yesterday at $0.53. ONCY has a 1-year high of $1.40 and a 1-year low of $0.40. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $0.55 and its 200-day moving average is $0.65.

On the ratings front, Canaccord Genuity analyst Neil Maruoka maintained a Buy rating on ONCY, with a price target of $2.50, in a report issued on June 8. The current price target implies an upside of 371.7% from current levels. According to TipRanks.com, Maruoka has a total average return of -4.0%, a 42.5% success rate, and is ranked #3158 out of 3764 analysts.

Oncolytics Biotech Inc is a development stage biopharmaceutical company. It is engaged in the discovery and development of pharmaceutical products for the treatment of cancer.