KNOXVILLE, TN, /Globe Newswire/ -- Provectus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTCQB: PVCT, www.provectusbio.com), ("Provectus" or the "Company"), a clinical-stage biotechnology company leading the development of the first small molecule oncolytic immunotherapy, PV-10, as an investigational single agent for locally advanced disease as well as in combination with another agent for widely metastatic disease, both for multiple cancer indications, today announced the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the "USPTO") has granted U.S. patent ("USP") 9,808,524 for the combination of intralesional ("IL") PV-10 with systemic immunomodulatory therapy, including anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 agents, for the treatment of melanoma and cancers of the liver. This new patent is a continuation of USP 9,107,887, Provectus' first cancer combination therapy patent granted by the USPTO in 2015. Pfizer, Inc. is a co-assignee on both patents.
PV-10 is an injectable formulation of rose bengal disodium, and represents nearly a decade of work by Provectus to optimize the synthetic process for manufacturing rose bengal and its related halogenated xanthene analogs to meet modern global requirements for pharmaceutical use. IL injection of PV-10 can induce immunogenic cell death that results in tumor-specific reactivity in circulating CD8+ T cells.
Provectus recently presented preliminary results from the Company's ongoing Phase 1b/2 study of IL PV-10 in combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), Merck's systemic anti-PD-1 (programmed death receptor-1) antibody agent, at the Society for Melanoma Research 2017 Congress, held in Brisbane, Australia on October 18-21. Adverse events were consistent with the established patterns for each drug, and there were no unexpected toxicities or evidence of compounded toxicity. Preliminary overall efficacy included 10% complete response, 50% objective response, and 60% clinical benefit, with the highest responses observed in Stage IV M1c melanoma patients (all per RECIST 1.1).
The Phase 1b portion of the study continues to enroll patients at clinical sites in the U.S. and Australia (NCT02557321); Stage IV patients with at least one injectable lesion who are candidates for KEYTRUDA are eligible. A total of up to 24 patients would receive the combination of IL PV-10 and KEYTRUDA every three weeks for five cycles (i.e., for up to 12 weeks, with no further PV-10 administered after week 12), followed by only KEYTRUDA every three weeks for up to 24 months. The primary endpoint for the Phase 1b trial is safety and tolerability; objective response rate and progression-free survival are key secondary endpoints (both assessed via RECIST 1.1 after five treatment cycles, and then every 12 weeks thereafter).
Dominic Rodrigues, Chairman of the Company's Board of Directors, said, "This patent continues our work to expand intellectual property protection of PV-10, and to augment the potential commercial value of Provectus' clinical development program in cancer combination therapy."
Mr. Rodrigues also said, "Provectus' ongoing Phase 1b study of PV-10 and KEYTRUDA is based on a rational study design for Stage IV melanoma patients with visceral disease, and provides for the investigation of the potential for small molecule oncolytic immunotherapy to demonstrate orthogonality to and synergy with checkpoint inhibition, combination therapy measures of safety and efficacy, respectively."
Mr. Rodrigues concluded, "Numerous players around the world, with approved or investigational drugs within each class of systemic immuno-oncology agent, are pursuing smaller and smaller pieces of market share because drugs within each of these classes may be similar or, indeed, equivalent. Assuming a rational clinical basis for combination, another form of differentiation is needed to gain and protect market share for cancer combination therapy. We believe this aspect of our company's patent estate provides for proprietary combinations with protected agents."
Provectus is a clinical-stage biotechnology company leading the development of a new class of drugs based on halogenated xanthenes. Intralesional PV-10, the first small molecule oncolytic immunotherapy, is undergoing clinical study for adult solid tumor cancers like melanoma and cancers of the liver, and preclinical study for pediatric cancers. Topical PH-10 is undergoing clinical study for inflammatory dermatoses like psoriasis. Information about the Company's clinical trials can be found at the NIH registry, www.clinicaltrials.gov. For additional information about Provectus, please visit the Company's website at www.provectusbio.com.
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: This release contains "forward-looking statements" as defined under U.S. federal securities laws. These statements reflect management's current knowledge, assumptions, beliefs, estimates, and expectations and express management's current views of future performance, results, and trends and may be identified by their use of terms such as "anticipate," "believe," "would," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "project," "will," and other similar terms. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to materially differ from those described in the forward-looking statements. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Such statements are made as of the date hereof, and we undertake no obligation to update such statements after this date.
Risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to materially differ from those described in forward-looking statements include those discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (including those described in Item 1A of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016).
KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc. Kenilworth, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Provectus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.
Tim Scott, Ph.D.