The Polaris Group is currently conducting clinical trials of ADI-PEG 20 to improve response rate to the combination pemetrexed and cisplatin in the treatment of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma (MPM) and Non-Squamous Non-Small Cell Lung Carcinoma (NSCLC).
Previous studies have shown that the combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed is efficient as a potent chemotherapeutic agent with relatively low toxicity in the treatment of NSCLC and MPM.
The Polaris group thought that by adding a biological agent named ADI-PEG 20, they could replace the high degree of arginine-dependency found in multiple cancers. ADI-PEG 20 is one of the bio therapeutic agents being developed by the company to treat cancers with major metabolic defects that renders cancer cells unable to internally synthesize arginine.
Arginine is one of the essential 20 aminoacids for protein synthesis that is also implicated in cell survival. Some studies have found that cancer cells with a metabolic defect become dependent of external supply of arginine to develop and survive. In this regard, ADI-PEG 20 was designed to reduce the external supply of arginine, causing cancer cells that are arginine-dependent to decease, but leaving normal cells intact.
In a recent press release, the Polaris Group revealed the dosing of the first patient in a Phase 1 Study of ADI-PEG 20 plus pemetrexed and cisplatin for the treatment of NSCL and MPM. The group is also conducting other clinical trials with ADI-PEG-20 both as monotherapy and in combination with other drugs for the treatment of breast cancer, melanoma, ovarian cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma.
John Bomalaski, M.D., Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs from the Polaris Group stated “Data from a previous randomized Phase 2 trial of ADI-PEG 20 as a monotherapy for the treatment of MPM showed that ADI-PEG 20 significantly reduced risk of progression for patients with mesothelioma.” About the current trial Dr. Bomalaski said “We hope that ADI-PEG 20 in combination with pemetrexed and cisplatin will provide further benefit to patients in this trial.”
Polaris Group is a biopharmaceutical company that conducts research and develops biotherapies to treat severe cancers and other incapacitating illnesses. ADI-PEG 20, is currently being examined in a Phase 3 trial as treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma. Furthermore, the Polaris Group is designing and testing other novel compounds that may restrain the biological function of cancer-related protein targets.