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In Brief This Week: Achilles Therapeutics, Zenith Epigenetics, Turning Point Therapeutics

NEW YORK – Achilles Therapeutics said this week that it has dosed its first non-small cell lung cancer patient with a higher dose of its personalized clonal neoantigen-reactive T-cell therapy in the ongoing Phase I/IIa Chiron clinical trial. The higher dose of the cNeT therapy is manufactured with Achilles' VELOS Process 2, a manufacturing system that the firm has designed to be scalable and automated. Achilles also said that, in the wake of a positive review from an independent data safety monitoring committee, it will begin enrolling metastatic melanoma patients to cohort B of its ongoing Thetis clinical trial evaluating cNeT plus PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor therapy. The firm anticipates reporting out clinical data from the higher-dose therapy and the combination therapy during the second half of this year. 

Zenith Epigenetics said this week that it has begun a Phase IIb portion of its clinical trial evaluating the investigational BET inhibitor ZEN-3694 combined with Pfizer's Talzenna (talazoparib) for advanced triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patients whose tumors do not harbor BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. The trial is a continuation of the firm's Phase Ib/II clinical trial, which met its primary endpoint of clinical benefit rate and tolerability. Zenith plans to present data from that portion of the trial during the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting. For the new Phase IIb portion of the trial, Zenith will enroll patients previously treated with a TROP2-directed antibody-drug conjugate.

Turning Point Therapeutics said this week that its drug candidate, repotrectinib, received breakthrough therapy designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for patients with ROS1-positive metastatic non-small cell lung cancer who have previously been treated with a ROS1 tyrosine kinase inhibitor but have not received platinum-based chemotherapy. The decision was based on efficacy data from about 50 patients pooled from the TRIDENT-1 Phase I/II study. 

The Medical College of Wisconsin said this week that it has received a $10 million gift from Linda and John Mellowes of Milwaukee and has named its genomic sciences and precision medicine center the Linda T. and John A. Mellowes Center for Genomic Sciences and Precision Medicine. MCW will use the donation to establish three endowed chairs, in precision oncology, precision medicine, and bioinformatics and data analytics. In addition, the funding will go toward an endowed innovation and discovery fund to support the center's strategic research objectives.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared in Precision Oncology News.