Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 20:00
  • 8 partial responses (PR) among 26 patients evaluable for efficacy – predefined number of responses needed to declare the trial result positive has been reached
  • The combination was well tolerated, without potentiating cetuximab-related side effects
  • Total enrollment of 40 patients now completed

Innate Pharma SA (the “Company” - Euronext Paris: FR0010331421 – IPH) announces preliminary data from an ongoing Phase I/II trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of the combination of monalizumab, a first-in-class monoclonal antibody targeting NK checkpoint receptor NKG2A, with cetuximab (anti-EGFR) in previously treated patients with recurrent and/or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head & neck (R/M SCCHN). These data are highlighted in a poster presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, April 14-18, in Chicago.

Roger B. Cohen, Prof. of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Associate Director of Clinical Research, Abramson Cancer Center Philadelphia and the lead investigator of the study, commented: The data so far show that this therapy is active in patients with advanced head and neck cancer. The activity of cetuximab in patients previously treated with platinum salts is limited, with a response rate of around 13%. The addition of monalizumab appears to increase the response rate without potentiating the side effects of cetuximab. Since monalizumab targets a checkpoint that is different from other currently targeted immune checkpoints, it’s an interesting option as a combination partner for a variety of novel immunotherapeutic approaches”.

Pierre Dodion, Chief Medical Officer of Innate Pharma, added: “While PD-1/L1 therapy is quickly changing the treatment paradigm of SCCHN, there remains a high unmet medical need for the majority of patients who don’t benefit from checkpoint inhibitor therapy. These preliminary data support further investigation of this novel combination in third line recurrent and metastatic SCCHN. We look forward to sharing updated data from the ongoing trial at medical conferences during 2018.” 

The highest dose tested for monalizumab in the dose-escalation portion of the study (10 mg/kg every 2 weeks) was given in combination with the approved dose and schedule of cetuximab (400 mg/m² load, then 250 mg/m² weekly) in the Phase II cohort expansion. Patients could be either HPV (-) or HPV (+) and had progressed after platinum-based therapy with a maximum of 2 prior systemic treatment regimens for R/M disease. Prior cetuximab treatment (when used for the definitive treatment of locally advanced disease in combination with radiation) and prior immuno-oncology (IO) therapy were allowed.

Among the 31 patients enrolled in the expansion part, the combination was well tolerated, consistent with previously presented data at AACR 2017, with no additional safety concerns compared to monalizumab or cetuximab given alone. The majority of adverse events (AE) were of Grade 1-2 severity, rapidly reversible and easily manageable. No infusion-related reactions or treatment-related deaths occurred. The most frequent AEs (skin disorders) described with cetuximab were not potentiated by the combination with monalizumab.

Among the patients enrolled, as per study design, all had been previously treated with platin-containing regimens. In addition, 14 patients had been previously treated with PD-1 antibodies and 3 with prior cetuximab.

Twenty-six patients were evaluable for efficacy; the other 5 patients are too early on study to have had a post-baseline assessment. At the cut-off date of March 9, 2018, there were 8 confirmed RECIST partial responses (31%) with median time to follow-up of 129 days, achieving the predefined number of 8 responses needed to declare the trial positive. 14 patients (54%) had stable disease. Median duration of response has not yet been reached; six responders are still on treatment. The trial has now enrolled all planned patients (n=40). Further follow-up is needed to evaluate the duration of response, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).


 Best overall response1


n (%)

Partial Response (PR)

8 (31%)

Stable Disease (SD)

14 (54%)

Progressive Disease (PD)

3 (12%)

Early death from progression

1 (3%)

  1. According to RECIST 1.1, confirmation of response was required

Best % reduction of target lesion from baseline*


The poster is available on Innate Pharma’s website.

* The patient with early death from progression before the 1st assessment is not represented in this graph.

PR in English194.87 KB
CP en français193.25 KB
Poster AACR 2018 # CT1581.37 MB