VANCOUVER, B.C.—Qu Biologics Inc. has announced approval from the Israeli Ministry of Health to proceed with their clinical trial of QBECO Site Specific Immunomodulators (SSIs) in patients with colorectal cancer. SSIs are a novel platform of immunotherapies designed to restore innate immune function.
The study, entitled “Assessment of QBECO SSI on Immunological Parameters in the Tumor Microenvironment and Systemically in Patients with Colorectal Cancer,” will enroll patients at the Sheba Medical Center with principal investigator Dr. Gal Markel. Markel is a medical oncologist, and internationally recognized expert in translational tumor immunology and clinical immuno-oncology; associate professor in Clinical Microbiology and Immunology at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University; and director of the Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Qu Biologics, and their innovative technology, which has the potential to induce immunological impact in colon cancer patients,” stated Markel.
The study is designed to assess the effect of QBECO SSI treatment on immune function in the tumor, and systemically in patients newly diagnosed with colon cancer. Colorectal cancer suppresses the patient’s immune response, and this immune suppression is recognized to have a detrimental effect on prognosis.
Study participants will receive QBECO SSI treatment from the time of their colon cancer diagnosis to the time the tumor is surgically removed 3-5 week later. Preclinical studies using cancer models in mice have demonstrated that Qu Biologics’ SSIs substantially enhance immune function both in the tumor and systemically, resulting in tumor reduction and improved survival.
“We are very pleased to be able to work with Dr. Markel, the Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology, and the Sheba Medical Center on this important clinical study,” mentioned Hal Gunn, CEO of Qu Biologics. “The perioperative period presents a window of opportunity to activate immune function in this patient population to overcome cancer-induced immune suppression and improve prognosis. If positive, the results could have transformative potential in colon cancer therapy.”
“It has long been recognized that activating innate anti-cancer mechanisms in this manner could lead to tumor regression. We just have not had the right treatment approaches to elicit this response safely and consistently before. We are hopeful that Qu’s SSIs can provide this,” added Dr. Shirin Kalyan, immunologist and director of Scientific Innovation for Qu Biologics.
The results of this study are anticipated in the second quarter of 2021.