Australian biotech's myeloma antibody partners with Revlimid to boost response rates

Australian biotech HaemaLogix has posted phase 2b data that show its monoclonal antibody “significantly” improves response rates for multiple myeloma patients when paired with Revlimid.

The 40-person trial assessed the therapy, KappaMab, with Bristol Myers Squibb’s Revlimid and the steroid dexamethasone, which are standard of care for multiple myeloma. The study showed the three-drug combo produced an overall response rate of 83%, compared to 45% among patients who received Revlimid and dexamethasone only.

Median overall survival was not reached, with two of the patients remaining on the therapy and continuing to respond to the treatment, the biotech noted.

KappaMab is designed to target a receptor called kappa myeloma antigen (KMA), which is only found on the surface of myeloma cells in patients with kappa-type multiple myeloma, the most common type of myeloma. It means that, in principle, the therapy shouldn’t damage normal immune cells, HaemaLogix said in the release.

No treatment-related hematological toxicities or serious adverse effects were reported in the trial, the biotech added.

The company already suspected that KappaMab had a “synergistic mechanism of action” with Revlimid, and this was the spur for the latest trial. Up next will be a study testing the monoclonal antibody with Bristol Myers’ Pomalyst, also known as pomalidomide, another multiple myeloma mainstay.

While KappaMab is the company’s most advanced asset, the biotech’s preclinical pipeline includes a KMA-targeting CAR-T therapy alongside other potential antibody and cell therapies.