July 22, 2020 By Melissa Soria

New Mesothelioma Clinical Trial Involves Keytruda

Standard-of-care treatment for malignant mesothelioma could change significantly, depending upon the results of an upcoming clinical trial of two immunotherapy agents used in combination with chemotherapy.

The clinical trial will involve pembrolizumab, also known by the brand name Keytruda and its synergy with ONCOS-102, a lesser-known, genetically modified adenovirus.

Individually, both have shown modest efficacy for mesothelioma patients when used with chemotherapy. Together, there is potential for a much greater impact in significantly extending patient survival.

The clinical trial is a partnership between Targovax, a Scandinavian biotech company that produces ONCOS-102, and the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. Inc., which manufactures Keytruda.

“We could end up with a very powerful immunotherapy combination,” said Dr. Magnus Jaderberg, chief medical officer at Targovax. “Standard of care will likely change in the next couple years. There is a good chance ONCOS-102 could be part of that.”