IO Biotech Appoints Dr. Eva Ehrnrooth as Chief Medical Officer -- Encouraging Five Year Clinical Data For Novel Next Generation Immuno-Oncology Therapy In Lung Cancer Presented at ESMO 2017 Congress --
Copenhagen, Denmark – October 12, 2017: IO Biotech, a private company developing novel immuno-oncology therapies targeting immune checkpoint inhibitory targets to treat cancer, today announced the appointment of Eva Ehrnrooth, M.D., Ph.D., to the position of chief medical officer.
Dr. Ehrnrooth, a board-certified oncologist, joins the company from Boehringer Ingelheim and brings more than 14 years of clinical development experience. Additionally, at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress last month, data were presented showing that two of the 15 lung cancer patients in the company’s Phase 2 trial continue to demonstrate stable disease after five years with monthly subcutaneous injections. IO’s immuno-oncology therapies attack both tumor cells and immune-suppressive cells to amplify their therapeutic effect in cancer treatment. IO’s immuno-oncology therapeutic approach is further distinguished from other immuno-oncology therapies, as a treatment that will be available to any patient, without patient-specific modification.
“We are thrilled to have Dr. Ehrnrooth join our team,” stated Mai-Britt Zocca, Ph.D., chief executive officer of IO Biotech. “She brings a wealth of knowledge in clinical development along with multinational regulatory expertise as well as worldwide contacts in oncology, and she will be instrumental in advancing development of our pipeline of immune-oncology therapies.”
Eva Ehrnrooth, M.D., Ph.D., is a board-certified oncologist who most recently served as executive director, the global clinical programme team leader at Boehringer Ingelheim. She held clinical development positions of increasing responsibility at Boehringer Ingelheim between 2010 and 2017. Prior to that Dr. Ehrnrooth was a medical director at Oncology Genmab and before that, was in the department of oncology at National Danish Hospital.
“We are pleased to follow up our initial positive data announcement from our trial of IO101 in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with these encouraging long-term follow-up data,” stated Dr. Ehrnrooth. “We are encouraged by the antitumour activity and strong safety profile observed and plan to evaluate the second generation of IO101, i.e. IO102, in multiple types of cancer. We also plan to evaluate IO102 in combination studies with a variety of other treatments and anticipate enhanced overall efficacy of either agent alone, based on our preclinical research.”
About the Phase 1 IO101 Clinical Data
Approximately one year after the finalization of the study, it was published in Clinical Cancer Research that a long lasting partial response (>8.5 months) along with stable disease was observed in 47 percent of the patients. As of May 2017, the five-year follow-up data show that two of the 15 patients are long-term survivors with ongoing clinical response five years after their first treatments. Both patients received a total of 56 immuno-oncology treatments each. One of the two patients developed a partial response of target lesions in the liver 15 months after the first treatment was administered and has been in stable disease ever since. The other patient had a solitary metastasis in a retroperitoneal gland at baseline and at the first evaluation scan, the patient had no sign of malignancy. All the subsequent scans during the treatment were tumour free. Additionally, the presence of IDO-specific T-cells were detected in the two long-term survivors at several points during the treatment regimen. The vaccine was well tolerated for all five years. These encouraging five-year follow-up data were presented last month at the ESMO Congress in Madrid, Spain.
Fifteen, stage III-IV NSCLC patients were enrolled in the Phase 1, single-arm, open-label study from June 2010 to May 2012. All patients were in disease stabilization after standard chemotherapy when they initiated treatment on the study. Patients were treated with subcutaneous immuno-oncology treatments of IO101 every second week for 2.5 months and thereafter monthly until progression or up to five years.