“PDC*line Pharma is lucky in that it starts out with 2 candidates in its pipeline: a drug for melanoma, which is already in phase 1 trials, and a preclinical candidate for lung cancer.” – Eric Halioua (President & CEO).
Our lead candidate, PDC*mel, is currently in the phase 1 first-in-human clinical trial for advanced melanoma. PDC*lung is starting clinical development for lung cancer.
PDC*line Pharma plans to conduct clinical trials to reach clinical proof of concept by 2020.
Melanoma is the most lethal form of skin cancer, representing 2% of all newly diagnosed cancer cases (232,000 new cases and 55,000 deaths worldwide in 2012). It is also the leading cancer in terms of incidence increase (+ 10% per year) and one of the most common cancers in young adults (18-35 years).
Melanoma is often easier to detect in its early stages than most cancers. However, it is also more likely to spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body, and 16% of patients are first diagnosed at an advanced stage. Prognosis for this late-stage disease is very unfavorable (5-year mortality rate of 85%).
The standard treatment for patients with metastatic melanoma is changing with the arrival of innovative therapies. Immune checkpoint inhibitors such as anti-PD-1 dramatically improve overall survival with a median exceeding one year. However, many patients still don’t benefit from the treatment or suffer from severe adverse events.
PDC*mel is composed of PDC*line loaded with 4 peptides derived from 4 antigens frequently expressed in melanoma (Melan-A, Tyrosinase, gp100 and MAGE-A3).
The effectiveness of PDC*mel has been robustly demonstrated through preclinical studies in a humanized mouse model and in ex vivo experiments on patient samples (see publications).
A first-in-man phase 1 study is currently ongoing for metastatic melanoma to assess the safety of PDC*mel, and explore the preliminary immunological, biological and clinical responses. (see clinical trials).
1.8 million new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed worldwide in 2012, and this disease was responsible for and 1.6 million deaths. Lung cancer is therefore the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer mortality.
About 40% of patients are diagnosed with locally advanced (stage IIIb) or metastatic (stage IV) cancer; prognosis is poor (median survival 8-13 months).
About 50% of advanced-stage lung cancer patients (all squamous cell carcinomas and half of adenocarcinomas) are not eligible for targeted therapies and are therefore treated with platinum-based chemotherapies (with or without bevacizumab). However, after first-line treatment, median time to progression is just 2-3 months. Patients’ conditions deteriorate rapidly, and median survival is less than one year from diagnosis.
Innovative Drug Candidate
PDC*lung is in starting clinical development.