New Treatment for Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

A report from Yahoo finance says that Sesen Bio,a late-stage clinical company developing next-generation antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) therapies for the treatment of cancer, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to Vicinium™ for the treatment of BCG-unresponsive high-grade non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Vicinium, Sesen Bio’s lead product candidate, is currently being evaluated in a Phase 3 registration trial, the VISTA Trial, for the treatment of patients with high-grade NMIBC who have previously received two courses of bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) and whose disease is now BCG-unresponsive.

“The granting of this designation is an important milestone for Sesen Bio, and we believe it exemplifies the urgent need for a new treatment option for people with NMIBC for whom bladder removal is the recommended course after BCG,” said Dr. Thomas Cannell, president and chief executive officer of Sesen Bio. “We are highly encouraged by the differentiated product profile of Vicinium in NMIBC, with a unique mechanism of action, positive three-month data presented earlier this year and favorable tolerability in patients treated to-date. With Fast Track designation, we look forward to determining the optimal registration path and assessing the opportunity for accelerated approval to bring Vicinium to patients as quickly as possible.”

The FDA’s Fast Track process is designed to expedite the development and review of drugs used to treat serious or life-threatening conditions and fill an unmet medical need. Fast Track designation allows for frequent communication and interactions with the review team at the FDA throughout the drug development and review process, with the goal of providing faster drug approval and greater patient access.

Enrollment is complete in the Phase 3 VISTA Trial and the company expects to report 12-month efficacy results in mid-2019.

About Vicinium™
Vicinium™, also known as VB4-845, is Sesen Bio’s lead product candidate and is a next-generation antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), developed using the company’s proprietary Targeted Protein Therapeutics platform, for the treatment of high-grade non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Vicinium is comprised of a recombinant fusion protein that targets epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) antigens on the surface of tumor cells to deliver a potent protein payload, Pseudomonas Exotoxin A (ETA). Vicinium is constructed with a stable, genetically engineered peptide linker to ensure the payload remains attached until it is internalized by the cancer cell, which is believed to decrease the risk of toxicity to healthy tissues, thereby improving its safety. In prior clinical trials conducted by Sesen Bio, EpCAM has been shown to be overexpressed in NMIBC cells with minimal to no EpCAM expression observed on normal bladder cells. Sesen Bio is currently conducting the Phase 3 VISTA Trial, designed to support the registration of Vicinium for the treatment of high-grade NMIBC in patients who have previously received two courses of bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) and whose disease is now BCG-unresponsive. Twelve-month data from the trial are anticipated in mid-2019. Additionally, Sesen Bio believes that Vicinium’s cancer cell-killing properties promote an anti-tumor immune response that may potentially combine well with immuno-oncology drugs, such as checkpoint inhibitors. The activity of Vicinium in BCG-unresponsive NMIBC is also being explored at the US National Cancer Institute in combination with AstraZeneca’s immune checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab.