Revlimid and IPH 2101 are expected to have beneficial synergies on natural killer cell activity against cancer.

Celgene and Innate Pharma agreed to work together to carry out a Phase II trial evaluating a combination of their treatments for multiple myeloma. Celgene’s Revlimid® and Innate Pharma’s IPH 2101 will be evaluated in patients who have failed first-line therapy.

Innate Pharma expects to submit an IND application for the U.S. trial early in 2010. Revlimid is already marketed for the treatment of multiple myeloma, and IPH 2101 is in Phase II development as a single agent against the disease. Innate Pharma says that in vitro studies have already demonstrated that the two drugs have a synergistic effect in multiple myeloma cell lines.

“Innate Pharma’s science is unique and represents a novel approach to treating multiple myeloma,” according to Jean-Pierre Bizzari, svp, group head of oncology/hematology at Celgene. “Combining IPH 2101, a drug candidate with a new and original mechanism of action, with the leading global brand therapy for multiple myeloma, Revlimid, may result in an effective treatment option for patients with multiple myeloma.”

Innate Pharma’s IPH 2101 is a fully human anti-KIR mAb that blocks natural killer cell inhibitor receptors. Innate also plans to carry out an additional clinical trial in patients suffering from early stages of multiple myeloma known as smoldering myeloma. A Phase I trial evaluating IPH 2101 in acute myeloid leukemia was also recently extended. 

Revlimid is an immunomodulatory therapy and is also approved for multiple dysplastic syndrome with deletion 5q. Additionally, the drug is in Phase III trials against chronic lymphocytic leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well as Phase II development against solid tumors.

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