Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and fellow Israeli firm CureTech have presented promising mid-stage data on their investigational lymphoma drug.

The companies have unveiled preliminary topline results for CT-011, an investigational anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody, which has met the primary endpoint of improved progression-free survival, in a Phase II trial in patients with diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) following autologous stem cell transplantation. They noted that statistically significant results have also been achieved in the secondary endpoint of overall survival.

The data showed that 70% of the patients treated with CT-011 were progression-free at the end of the follow-up period, as compared to only 47% in the historical control. Some 84% of the patients treated with the Teva/CureTech drug were alive by the end of the follow-up period, compared to 62%.

DLBCL is an aggressive type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, affecting about 40% of all patients suffering from the latter, said Jacob Rowe of the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem,  He added that “I am very encouraged by the results of this trial and am certain that if these results will be confirmed in future controlled Phase III studies, CT-011, a truly novel anti cancer therapy will improve the lives of many DLBCL patients".

Following the successful completion of CureTech's first Phase I study in 2006, Teva took an equity position and has built up its stake to 33%, with options to further invest in the Yavne-based biotech. Aharon Schwartz, head of Teva's Innovative Ventures arm, said the collaboration "is just one of many oncology investments and alliances that we have made over the last several years".