OncoTracker Acquires Global Rights to Diagnostic Test, Possible Combo Therapy for Multiple Myeloma

José Lopes, PhD avatar

by José Lopes, PhD |

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Analysis Group, IHBDH collaboration

OncoTracker has acquired worldwide rights to a diagnostic test and possible triple combination therapy for patients with multiple myeloma in an agreement with the Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research.

The first patent family includes the patent “Diagnostic, prognostic, and monitoring methods for multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma” (U.S. Patent No. 10,126,301), which covers methods to detect B-cell maturation antigen, or BCMA, in blood serum or other samples from people with either multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, or B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

BCMA levels are typically higher in malignant, compared to normal plasma, cells of patients with multiple myeloma. OncoTracker claims years of experience in measuring BCMA in the blood of thousands of people with this cancer type.

A second patent family includes the patent application “Anti-cancer effects of JAK inhibitors in combination with lenalidomide and glucocorticoids” – No. 15/314,434 – which recently received a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

This patent request covers the treatment of blood cancers such as multiple myeloma with combinations that include the JAK2 enzyme blocker ruxolitinib — marketed as Jakafi by Incyte for people with polycythemia vera — and myelofibrosis, Revlimid (lenalidomide, by Celgene), and methylprednisolone or another glucocorticoid.

Results of a pilot clinical study, presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, showed that 50% alf of multiple myeloma patients whose disease had worsened while on other therapies responded to this combination. All were refractory (resistant over time) to treatment given with Revlimid, indicating that the new approach helps to restores responsiveness to this medicine.

“We believe these two patents have profound clinical utility for multiple myeloma patients,” James R. Berenson, MD, OncoTracker’s founder and chief scientist, said in a press release.  Berenson added that, in addition to showing efficacy, the triple combination was well-tolerated by these difficult-to-treat patients.

“Assessment of blood levels of BCMA can more rapidly and accurately determine whether a multiple myeloma patient’s drug therapy is efficacious or not, which is of immense pharmacoeconomic value,” said James Kuo, MD, the CEO of the West Hollywood-based company.

The Institute for Myeloma and Bone Cancer Research, an independent and non-profit research center focused on multiple myeloma, was founded by Berenson — a myeloma researcher and oncologist — in 2004.