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J&J, Aduro Biotech's lung cancer drug well tolerated in phase 1 trial

Aduro BioTech Inc. and its partner Johnson & Johnson's investigational drug JNJ-64041757 was well tolerated in a phase 1 trial for treating advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

JNJ-64041757 consists of live, attenuated double-deleted listeria monocytogenes, a strain of the gram-positive bacteria, engineered to induce immune response among lung cancer patients.

During the study, presented by Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen Biotech Inc., nine patients were administered the drug intravenously over one hour every 21 days.

The data, presented at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's World Conference in Japan, showed that five patients recorded a best response of stable disease. Biomarker data showed evidence of activation of innate immunity with transient cytokine increases in all patients.

The therapy was well-tolerated with transient mild to moderate adverse events, including headache, nausea, pyrexia and vomiting.

"We look forward to Janssen initiating a combination trial of JNJ-64041757 with other agents, based on synergistic combination data from preclinical mouse tumor models." said Dirk Brockstedt, executive vice president of research and development at Aduro Biotech.

Under a 2014 licensing agreement with Janssen regarding JNJ-64041757 and other product candidates, Aduro has received a $30 million up-front payment and $21 million in milestone payments.