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The collaboration will focus on the interactions between WTX-124 indukine and KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab).
Werewolf Therapeutics, a US-based biopharmaceutical company researching conditionally activated therapeutics in cancer treatment, announced on August 18, 2021 that they will collaborate with Merck (known as MSD outside of the U.S. and Canada) to evaluate their WTX-124 indukine program in conjunction with Merck’s anti-programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1 ) therapy KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab).
WTX-124 is a systemically delivered, conditionally activated interleukin 2 (IL-2) indukine molecule engineered to minimize the severe toxicities observed with recombinant IL-2 therapy. It is intended to maximize clinical benefit both when administered as a monotherapy or in combination with checkpoint inhibitors in multiple tumor types.
Werewolf will conduct the clinical trial, which is designed to evaluate WTX-124 as both a monotherapy and in conjunction with Keytruda in patients with solid tumors. Werewolf is planning to submit an investigational new drug application in the first half of 2022, with the Phase I clinical trial set to begin promptly after approval.
“Werewolf Therapeutics is delighted to be partnering with Merck to study the combination of KEYTRUDA and WTX-124, ” said Randi Isaacs, chief medical officer of Werewolf Therapeutics, in a company press release. “The clinical benefit of targeting IL-2 as a treatment for cancer has long been established; however, its utility has been limited by challenging toxicities. We believe WTX-124 has the potential to enhance therapeutic options for cancer patients as a monotherapy and when combined with checkpoint inhibitors [such as] KEYTRUDA.”
Source: Werewolf Therapeutics