Torque, Merck to test Keytruda with Deep IL-15 Primed T cells

Torque will test its Deep IL-15 Primed T Cells (TRQ-1501) with Merck, both as a single agent and in combination with Keytruda (pembrolizumab), Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, in a Phase 1/2 study in multiple solid tumor indications.

Bart Henderson, Chief Executive Officer of Torque, said: “Torque’s new class of cellular immunotherapy is designed to harness the full biology of natural T cells for treating multiple solid tumors, and we believe the combination with anti-PD-1 therapy will further enhance the function of these cells by protecting them against immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment.”

According to Henderson, this combination has the potential to improve treatment outcomes for patients with solid tumors that are relapsed or refractory to currently available treatments and broaden the applications of cellular immunotherapy.  

Torque will conduct the trial at multiple clinical sites in the U.S. and expects to begin the combination arm of the study with Keytruda later this year. 

The test will see how TRQ-1501 combines with Keytruda in two groups of patient; with melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, bladder cancer, renal cell carcinoma, and head and neck cancer who are relapsed or refractory to checkpoint inhibitor therapy (anti PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor treatment), and patients with advanced or metastatic ovarian cancer or sarcoma who are relapsed or refractory to standard-of-care treatments

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