MVA-BN-brachyury-TRICOM is a recombinant vector-based therapeutic cancer vaccine designed to induce an immune response against brachyury. Brachyury, a transcription factor overexpressed in advanced cancers, has been associated with treatment resistance, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, and metastatic potential. MVA-BN-brachyury-TRICOM has demonstrated immunogenicity and safety in previous clinical trials of subcutaneously administered vaccine. Preclinical studies have suggested that intravenous administration of therapeutic vaccines can induce superior CD8 T cell responses, higher levels of systemic cytokine release, and stronger natural killer cell activation and proliferation. This is the first-in-human study of the intravenous administration of MVA-BN-brachyury-TRICOM.
Between January 2020 and March 2021, 13 patients were treated on a phase 1, open-label, 3+3 design, dose-escalation study at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center. The study population was adults with advanced solid tumors and was enriched for chordoma, a rare sarcoma of the notochord that overexpresses brachyury. Vaccine was administered intravenously at three DLs on days 1, 22, and 43. Blood samples were taken to assess drug pharmacokinetics and immune activation. Imaging was conducted at baseline, 1 month, and 3 months post-treatment. The primary endpoint was safety and tolerability as determined by the frequency of dose-limiting toxicities; a secondary endpoint was determination of the recommended phase 2 dose.
No dose-limiting toxicities were observed and no serious adverse events were attributed to the vaccine. Vaccine-related toxicities were consistent with class profile (ie, influenza-like symptoms). Cytokine release syndrome up to grade 2 was observed with no adverse outcomes. Dose-effect trend was observed for fever, chills/rigor, and hypotension. Efficacy analysis of objective response rate per RECIST 1.1 at the end of study showed one patient with a partial response, four with stable disease, and eight with progressive disease. Three patients with stable disease experienced clinical benefit in the form of improvement in pain. Immune correlatives showed T cell activation against brachyury and other tumor-associated cascade antigens.
Intravenous administration of MVA-BN-brachyury-TRICOM vaccine was safe and tolerable. Maximum tolerated dose was not reached. The maximum administered dose was 10 infectious units every 3 weeks for three doses. This dose was selected as the recommended phase 2 dose.

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