Intensity Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering a novel, immune-based approach to treat solid tumor cancers through direct injection of its proprietary therapeutic agents, announced that it has entered into an agreement with Merck (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada), through a subsidiary, to evaluate the combination of Intensity’s lead product candidate INT230-6 and KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), Merck’s anti-PD-1 (programmed death receptor-1) therapy, in patients with advanced solid malignancies including pancreatic, bile duct, squamous cell and non-MSI high colon cancers.
“Our research suggests our product, INT230-6, which enables improved recognition of cancer by the immune system, may exhibit additional effect when combined with anti-PD-1 antibodies,”
said Lewis H. Bender, President and Chief Executive Officer of Intensity Therapeutics.
“We are excited to be working with Merck, one of the world’s leading cancer immuno-oncology companies, on our current Phase 1/2 clinical trial to explore the combination of INT230-6 and KEYTRUDA® in cancers with high unmet medical need. We are looking forward to initiating the combination portion of our program in the second half of this year.”
Ian. B. Walters, M.D., Intensity’s Chief Medical Officer, added,
“We will be able to test the combination in a variety of difficult to treat tumors that historically have been non-responsive to checkpoint inhibitors. INT230-6 has demonstrated monotherapy activity, as well as a favorable safety profile, in patients with advanced cancers.”
KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., USA.