Research Foundation Sees Much Promise in Treatment of Deadly Cancer

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The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation is optimistic about results reported by AduroBioTech, Inc. of their Phase 1b clinical trial of CRs-207, a novel immunotherapy agent.

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“We continue to be excited by the results from this trial of our novel immunotherapy in combination with chemotherapy in this difficult-to-treat patient population,” said Stephen T. Isaacs, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Aduro.

The interim results, which were reported during the International Mesothelioma Interest Group’s meeting last week by Raffit Hassan, MD, a researcher at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and former chair of the Meso Foundation’s Science Advisory Board, were promising. Dr. Hassan stated in his report that “of 16 evaluable patients with response data, 75% (12/16) had confirmed durable partial responses (PR) and 19% (3/16) experienced stable disease (SD) after CRS-207 and chemotherapy, for a 94% rate of disease control (PR and SD). At the time of the presentation, estimated progression-free survival was 7.5 months with one patient on study for more than 19 months, currently receiving maintenance therapy with CRS-207 following the combination treatment.”

CRS-207 is an experimental therapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma. This immunotherapy agent is a weakened form of the Listeria virus modified to reduce its ability to cause infections, but still able to stimulate the immune system.

“We continue to be excited by the results from this trial of our novel immunotherapy in combination with chemotherapy in this difficult-to-treat patient population,” said Stephen T. Isaacs, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Aduro. “While the findings warrant further investigation, we believe CRS-207 may prove to be a very attractive therapeutic option in the armamentarium to improve overall response rates and boost the duration of those responses.”

Dirk G. Brockstedt, Ph.D., senior vice president of research and development at Aduro, added, “These results continue to support the promise of our technology as a method to boost and rally a patient’s immune system to target tumors. We plan to further evaluate CRS-207 in combination with chemotherapy in a randomized, controlled Phase 2 clinical trial in mesothelioma, which we anticipate to begin in the first half of 2015.”

Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor of the lining of the lung, abdomen, or heart known to be caused by exposure to asbestos. Medical experts consider it one of the most aggressive and deadly of all cancers. An estimated one-third of those who develop mesothelioma were exposed while serving in the Navy or working in shipyards.

ABOUT THE MESOTHELIOMA APPLIED RESEARCH FOUNDATION
The Meso Foundation is the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to eradicating mesothelioma and easing the suffering caused by this cancer. The Meso Foundation actively seeks philanthropic support to fund peer-reviewed mesothelioma research; provide patient support services and education; and advocate Congress for increased federal funding for mesothelioma research. The Meso Foundation is the only non-government funder of peer reviewed scientific research to establish effective treatments for mesothelioma and, ultimately, a cure for this extremely aggressive cancer. To date, the Foundation has awarded over $8.7 million to research. More information is available at http://www.curemeso.org.

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Maja Belamaric
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
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