Bristol is no Lag3-ard

The giveaway about Bristol Myers Squibb’s bullishness on its anti-Lag3 MAb relatlimab came in 2016, when it unveiled a clinical programme comprising nearly 2,000 patients. Such faith was rewarded today when a key phase 3 study, Relativity-047, read out positively. True, this was in front-line melanoma, a relatively well-served cancer and not the biggest of all oncology indications, and the win was on progression-free survival; overall survival data are as yet immature. But Bristol should be congratulated for running a clearly designed head-to-head trial, in which relatlimab plus Opdivo beat Opdivo alone. Assuming that the data translate into an OS benefit, and that no serious toxicities emerge, a best-case scenario would give Bristol a brand new immuno-oncology strategy in Lag3 inhibition, which the group might conceivably use to replace its active but toxic CTLA-4 blocker Yervoy. Other groups developing Lag3-targeting assets will also take note; one of these is Australia’s Immutep, whose founder and chief medical officer is Frédéric Triebel, who back in 1988 first cloned Lag3. Immutep stock traded up 30% this morning.

Selected clinical stage oncology projects targeting Lag3
Project Company Mechanism
Phase 3
Relatlimab Bristol-Myers Squibb Anti-Lag3 MAb
Phase 2
Ieramilimab (IMP701) Immutep/Novartis Anti-Lag3 MAb
INCAGN2385 Incyte Anti-Lag3 MAb
MK-4280 Merck & Co Anti-Lag3 MAb
BI 754111 Boehringer Ingelheim Anti-Lag3 MAb
REGN3767 Regeneron Anti-Lag3 MAb
Tebotelimab Macrogenics Anti-Lag3xPD-1 bispecific MAb
Eftilagimod alpha Immutep Soluble dimeric recombinant Lag3
Phase 1
TSR-033 Glaxosmithkline/Anaptysbio Anti-Lag3 MAb
Sym022 Symphogen Anti-Lag3 MAb
IBI110 Innovent Biologics Anti-Lag3 bispecific MAb
RG6139 Roche Anti-Lag3xPD-1 bispecific MAb
FS118 F-star Therapeutics Anti-Lag3xPD-1 bispecific MAb
XmAb22841 Xencor Anti-Lag3xCTLA-4 bispecific MAb
Source: Evaluate Pharma.

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