SpringWorks Therapeutics Announces Clinical Collaboration with Janssen to Evaluate Nirogacestat in Combination with Teclistamab in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Multiple Myeloma
STAMFORD, Conn., Sept. 14, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SpringWorks Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: SWTX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing life-changing medicines for patients with severe rare diseases and cancer, today announced that the company has entered into a clinical collaboration and supply agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) to evaluate SpringWorks Therapeutics’ investigational gamma secretase inhibitor (GSI), nirogacestat, in combination with Janssen’s bispecific antibody targeting B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA) and CD3, teclistamab, in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.
Gamma secretase inhibition prevents the cleavage and shedding of BCMA from the surface of myeloma cells. In preclinical models, nirogacestat has been shown to increase the cell surface density of BCMA and reduce levels of soluble BCMA, which may enhance the activity of BCMA-targeted therapies, including CD3 bispecific antibodies.
“We are delighted to enter into this collaboration with Janssen to study nirogacestat in combination with teclistamab,” said Saqib Islam, Chief Executive Officer of SpringWorks Therapeutics. “We now have three collaborations with industry-leading BCMA developers to evaluate nirogacestat in combinations across modalities, including with an antibody-drug conjugate, an allogeneic CAR-T cell therapy and now a bispecific antibody. This collaboration is an important step in continuing to advance our goal of developing nirogacestat as a best-in-class BCMA potentiator.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Janssen will sponsor and conduct the Phase 1 study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of the combination, and will assume all costs associated with the study, other than expenses related to the manufacturing of nirogacestat. SpringWorks Therapeutics will also form a joint oversight committee with Janssen. Pending discussions with regulators, the study is anticipated to commence by early 2021.
In addition to its ongoing clinical collaborations with BCMA-directed therapies, SpringWorks is also currently conducting a global Phase 3, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial (the DeFi Trial) to evaluate nirogacestat in adults with progressing desmoid tumors.
In addition, gamma secretase has been shown to directly cleave membrane-bound BCMA, resulting in the release of the BCMA extracellular domain, or ECD, from the cell surface. By inhibiting gamma secretase, membrane-ound BCMA can be preserved, increasing target density while reducing levels of soluble BCMA ECD, which may serve as decoy receptors for BCMA-directed therapies. Nirogacestat’s ability to enhance the activity of BCMA-directed therapies has been observed in preclinical models of multiple myeloma. SpringWorks is pursuing a combination therapy approach to evaluate nirogacestat as a BCMA potentiator across modalities by collaborating with industry leaders. In addition to today’s announcement, SpringWorks has entered into two other clinical collaborations to evaluate nirogacestat in combination with GlaxoSmithKline’s BCMA antibody-drug conjugate BLENREP (belantamab mafodotin-blmf) and with Allogene’s allogeneic BCMA CAR-T cell therapy ALLO-715.
Nirogacestat has received Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of desmoid tumors (June 2018) and from the European Commission for the treatment of soft tissue sarcoma (September 2019). The FDA also granted Fast Track and Breakthrough Therapy Designations for the treatment of adult patients with progressive, unresectable, recurrent or refractory desmoid tumors or deep fibromatosis (November 2018 and August 2019).
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