Dynavax Technologies Corp. reported positive results from the dose escalation phase of an ongoing phase 1b/2 study for its drug SD-101 in combination with Merck & Co. Inc.'s Keytruda in patients with metastatic melanoma, or skin cancer.
In 7 anti-PD-1/L1-naïve patients, SD-101 used in combination with Keytruda resulted in a 100% overall response rate and a 29% complete response rate, versus Keytruda as monotherapy which showed 33% overall response rate and a 6% complete response.
In 12 patients with advanced melanoma who had failed anti-PD-1 treatment, the introduction of SD-101 caused tumor shrinkage in 42% patients, with 17% having a partial response, indicating an anti-tumor immune response generated by SD-101.
The drug combination mobilized both innate and adaptive immune response in study participants. Tumor shrinkage was also observed in non-injected visceral lesions.