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Poster Display session 3

4062 - Phase 1b, open-label, dose-escalation study of M9241 (NHS-IL12) plus avelumab in patients (pts) with advanced solid tumors


30 Sep 2019


Poster Display session 3



Tumour Site


Julius Strauss


Annals of Oncology (2019) 30 (suppl_5): v475-v532. 10.1093/annonc/mdz253


J. Strauss1, Y. Vugmeyster2, M. Sznol3, R.K. Pachynski4, K. Trang5, S. Chennoufi6, J.L. Gulley7

Author affiliations

  • 1 Laboratory Of Tumor Immunology And Biology, Center for Cancer Research (CCR), National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), 20892 - Bethesda/US
  • 2 Clinical Pharmacology, EMD Serono, 01821 - Billerica/US
  • 3 Medical Oncology, Yale University School of Medicine, 06520-8028 - New Haven/US
  • 4 Oncology, Washington University Medical School, 63110 - St. Louis/US
  • 5 Global Patient Safety, Merck Healthcare KGaA, 64293 - Darmstadt/DE
  • 6 Clinical Development, Merck Healthcare KGaA, 64293 - Darmstadt/DE
  • 7 Genitourinary Malignancies Branch And Laboratory Of Tumor Immunology And Biology, Center For Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, 20892 - Bethesda/US


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Abstract 4062


M9241 is a tumor-targeting immunocytokine composed of IL-12 heterodimers fused to a monoclonal antibody targeting DNA in necrotic tumor regions. Avelumab is a human anti–PD-L1 IgG1 monoclonal antibody with clinical activity in various tumor types. Preclinical data predicted a potential drug-drug interaction (DDI) between M9241 and avelumab. We report an interim analysis of safety and PK/PD from the dose-escalation part of JAVELIN IL-12 (NCT02994953), a phase Ib study of M9241 and avelumab in pts with locally advanced, unresectable, or metastatic solid tumors.


At data cutoff (20 Aug 2018), 29 pts in dose levels (DLs) 1-4 received M9241 4, 8, 12, or 16.8 μg/kg SC every 4 weeks (Q4W) and avelumab 10 mg/kg IV every 2 weeks (Q2W). Three pts in DL5 received 12-week induction with avelumab 800 mg IV once weekly (Q1W) and M9241 16.8 μg/kg SC Q4W and then continuation treatment with avelumab 800 mg IV Q2W and M9241 16.8 μg/kg SC Q4W. The primary endpoint was overall safety and dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs).


DLs 1-4 were well tolerated. One DLT occurred at DL3 (grade 3 autoimmune hepatitis), but no DLTs occurred at other DLs. Maximum tolerated dose was not reached. PK analyses suggested a DDI at DLs 1-4, evidenced by decreased avelumab exposure concurrent with increased IFN-γ levels; therefore, DL5 was introduced. At DL5, PK data showed no evidence of a DDI. DL5 was also well tolerated and showed a similar safety profile to DL4, with treatment-emergent adverse events limited to grade 1/2. Prolonged clinical responses (CR/PR) were seen, including in a checkpoint inhibitor–refractory pt.


Combining avelumab 800 mg IV Q1W and M9241 16.8 μg/kg SC Q4W as 12-week induction followed by avelumab 800 mg IV Q2W and M9241 16.8 μg/kg SC Q4W as continuation treatment had an acceptable safety and tolerability profile and was therefore declared as recommended phase II dose (RP2D). The observed DDI is likely driven by M9241-mediated IFN-γ induction, causing PD-L1 upregulation in the periphery and tumor and target-mediated clearance of avelumab. Based on available data, this DDI mechanism is likely saturated at the RP2D. This trial continues recruitment into expansion cohorts at the RP2D.

Clinical trial identification


Editorial acknowledgement

ClinicalThinking, funded by Merck Healthcare KGaA and Pfizer Inc.

Legal entity responsible for the study

Merck Healthcare KGaA.


Merck Healthcare KGaA and Pfizer Inc.


J. Strauss: Research grant / Funding (institution): EMD Serono; Licensing / Royalties, Patent: dual blockade of PD-L1 and TGF beta for HPV+ cancer: Not applicable. Y. Vugmeyster: Full / Part-time employment: EMD Serono; Shareholder / Stockholder / Stock options: EMD Serono; Shareholder / Stockholder / Stock options: Alexion; Licensing / Royalties: EMD Serono; Licensing / Royalties: Wyeth; Licensing / Royalties: Pfizer. M. Sznol: Advisory / Consultancy: Bristol-Myers Squibb; Advisory / Consultancy: Genentech/Roche ; Advisory / Consultancy: AstraZeneca/MedImmune ; Advisory / Consultancy: Kyowa Hakko Kirin ; Advisory / Consultancy: Nektar; Advisory / Consultancy: Novartis; Advisory / Consultancy: Lilly; Advisory / Consultancy: Merck Sharp & Dohme; Advisory / Consultancy: Biodesix; Advisory / Consultancy: Adaptimmune; Advisory / Consultancy: Theravance; Advisory / Consultancy: Modulate Pharma; Advisory / Consultancy: Omniox; Advisory / Consultancy: Seattle Genetics; Advisory / Consultancy: Inovio Pharmaceuticals; Advisory / Consultancy, Shareholder / Stockholder / Stock options: Torque; Shareholder / Stockholder / Stock options: Amphivena Therapeutics; Shareholder / Stockholder / Stock options: Intensity Therapeutics; Shareholder / Stockholder / Stock options: Adaptive Biotechnologies ; Shareholder / Stockholder / Stock options: Actym Therapeutics; Advisory / Consultancy: Pierre Fabre; Advisory / Consultancy: Newlink Genetics; Advisory / Consultancy: Molecular Partners; Advisory / Consultancy: Genmab; Advisory / Consultancy: AbbVie; Advisory / Consultancy: Allakos; Advisory / Consultancy: Hinge; Advisory / Consultancy: Symphogen; Advisory / Consultancy: Pieris Pharmaceuticals; Advisory / Consultancy: Gritstone Oncology; Advisory / Consultancy: Innate Pharma; Advisory / Consultancy: Celldex; Advisory / Consultancy: Incyte; Advisory / Consultancy: Almac Diagnostics; Advisory / Consultancy: immunocore; Advisory / Consultancy: Array BioPharma. R.K. Pachynski: Advisory / Consultancy: EMD Serono; Advisory / Consultancy: Bristol-Myers Squibb; Advisory / Consultancy: Pfizer; Advisory / Consultancy: Sanofi; Advisory / Consultancy: Jounce Therapeutics; Speaker Bureau / Expert testimony: Dendreon; Speaker Bureau / Expert testimony: Merck; Speaker Bureau / Expert testimony, Travel / Accommodation / Expenses: Genentech/Roche; Speaker Bureau / Expert testimony: AstraZeneca; Speaker Bureau / Expert testimony: Sanofi; Speaker Bureau / Expert testimony: Genomic Health; Research grant / Funding (institution): Janssen Oncology. K. Trang: Travel / Accommodation / Expenses, Shareholder / Stockholder / Stock options, Full / Part-time employment: Merck KGaA/EMD Serono. S. Chennoufi: Full / Part-time employment: Merck KGaA. J.L. Gulley: Research grant / Funding (institution): EMD Serono; Research grant / Funding (institution): Bavarian Nordic; Research grant / Funding (institution): Astellas Medivation; Research grant / Funding (institution): Pfizer; Research grant / Funding (institution): NantBioScience, Inc.; Research grant / Funding (institution): Bristol-Myers Squibb; Research grant / Funding (institution): Merck.

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