Background Therapeutic options are limited for patients with advanced melanoma that is refractory to PD-1 blockade. This study was performed in this patient population to assess the safety and antitumor activity of CMP-001, a CpG-A TLR9 agonist packaged within a virus-like particle.
Methods Patients were eligible for this 2-part, open-label, multicenter, phase 1b study if they had metastatic/unresectable melanoma and stable disease after =12 weeks or progressive disease (PD) on/after anti-PD-1 therapy. Part 1 evaluated CMP-001 plus pembrolizumab dose-escalation and dose-expansion. Part 2 evaluated CMP-001 monotherapy. Accessible lesion(s) were injected intratumorally with CMP-001, at a polysorbate 20 (PS20) concentration of either 0.01% or 0.00167%. The Part 1 primary objective was to identify the recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D) and schedule of CMP-001 plus pembrolizumab, while the Part 2 primary objective was to assess the safety of CMP-001 monotherapy. Secondary objectives for both parts were a preliminary assessment of antitumor activity of CMP-001 plus pembrolizumab and CMP-001 monotherapy, and the overall safety profile and pharmacodynamics of the combination.
Results In Part 1 (N=159) and Part 2 (N=40), 93.1% and 80.0% of patients had PD as their last response to prior anti–PD-1 therapy, respectively. The most common treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs; >25%) were flu-like symptoms (Parts 1 and 2) and injection-site reactions (Part 1). Grade 3/4 TRAEs were reported in 36.5% (Part 1) and 22.5% (Part 2) of patients, the most common being hypotension (Part 1: 6.9%; Part 2: 5.0%). No Grade 5 TRAEs were observed. In Part 1, the best objective response rate (ORR; RECIST v1.1) in patients treated with pembrolizumab and CMP-001 (PS20 0.01%) was 23.5% (23/98), while CMP-001 PS20 (0.00167%) resulted in a lower ORR of 11.5% (7/61). Seven additional patients had a delayed response after initial PD (table 1). The median duration of response was >1 year. In the 37 RECIST v1.1 and post-progression responders, the mean regression in injected and noninjected target lesions was 54.7% and 52.7%, respectively. In Part 2, the best ORR with CMP-001 monotherapy was 17.5% (7/40 patients); the response duration was shorter than in Part 1. Intratumoral CMP-001 PS20 0.01% 10 mg was selected as the RP2D.
Conclusions Intratumoral CMP-001 was well-tolerated and provided both local and distant responses in patients with advanced melanoma with disease progression on prior PD-1 blockade. CMP-001 monotherapy induced systemic tumor regression in some patients, but duration of response was substantially increased by the addition of pembrolizumab.
Acknowledgements This work was supported by Checkmate Pharmaceuticals. Medical writing assistance was provided by Cindy Rigby, PhD, of ApotheCom (San Francisco, CA) and was funded by Checkmate Pharmaceuticals.
Trial Registration NCT02680184
Ethics Approval This study was approved by the WCG-WIRB, WIRB approval tracking number 20152597.
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