Jennerex, Inc. announced interim data from its Phase 2 study of JX-594 followed by sorafenib (Nexavar; Bayer and Onyx) for the treatment of patients with advanced liver cancer. The trial has enrolled a total of 15 patients as of Sep 6, 2011, including a subgroup of 10 who have failed previous treatment with sorafenib. All patients were treated with a combination of intravenous and intratumoral injections of JX-594 prior to standard sorafenib therapy. Tumor responses by Choi criteria (a measure of tumor necrosis) in both injected and non-injected tumors were observed in eight of 11 evaluable patients. Tumor responses were maintained for up to 15 months post JX-594 treatment initiation. Significant tumor necrosis following JX-594 and sorafenib was observed in six of seven evaluable sorafenib resistant patients (86%). The sequential treatment regimen was well tolerated, and sorafenib toxicities were consistent with the documented historical profile.

JX-594 is an oncolytic virus that is designed to selectively target and destroy cancer cells. JX-594 is designed to attack cancer through three mechanisms of action: the lysis of cancer cells through viral replication; the reduction of the blood supply to tumors through vascular targeting and destruction; and the stimulation of the body’s immune response against cancer cells.

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