Targovax is an immunoncology company headquartered in Oslo, Norway, with an oncolytic virus platform, ONCOS. ONCOS-102 is currently prioritised in several indications including mesothelioma and melanoma. Targovax is also working on next-generation oncolytic viruses in its preclinical R&D pipeline.
Today, Targovax reported randomised data from the Phase I/II study (n=31) in unresectable malignant pleural mesothelioma. The results confirmed a good ONCOS-102 safety profile. The key clinical response endpoint mPFS was 8.4 months (active arm) vs 6.8 months (control) and above the historical control of 5.7–7.3 months. mPFS results are still early, with many patients not included in the analysis (additional data will serve as a potential catalyst later in 2020). Overall, as we described in our last note, mesothelioma is one of the most difficult cancers to treat, with classic chemotherapy still being the standard of care. While the size of the study limited the analysis for statistical significance (the trial was not designed to check for a statistically significant clinical effect), the mPFS results and the fact that clinical outcomes correlate with a cancer-specific immune response are clearly positive signals. Targovax has presented preliminary plans for the next trial. Our valuation is under review, while we analyse the details of the trial results.
CPIs have gained popularity over the past several years, however, a large proportion of patients do not respond to them. Targovax’s oncolytic virus technology is designed to prime immune response to cancers, which offers synergies for use in combination with other immunoncology therapies.