Norwalk, Conn., December 7, 2023 – The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) announced today that data from its landmark CoMMpass Study and Immune Atlas fueled 12 oral presentations to be presented at the 65th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego from December 9-12. In total, 34 different presentations use MMRF data. These advances represent important and continued innovation in multiple myeloma research.
“Our investment in the generation, analysis, and sharing of robust research and clinical data is fundamental to our relentless effort to drive progress in multiple myeloma treatment and ultimately a cure for each and every patient,” said Michael Andreini, President and CEO at the MMRF. “For over a decade, CoMMpass data has been analyzed by more than 300 researchers worldwide, making it one of the most highly published datasets in myeloma.”
Among the 34 CoMMpass abstracts to be highlighted at ASH are findings related to predictive biomarkers, disease progression, therapeutic resistance, risk assessment, genetic profiling to interpret the outcomes of early intervention for high-risk smoldering myeloma, and precision medicine.
One oral presentation from the Immune Atlas team reports on the results of single-cell RNA sequencing of bone marrow cell samples from 263 multiple myeloma patients enrolled at time of diagnosis in the CoMMpass Study. Using single cell transcriptomics, researchers captured the TIME (tumor immune microenvironment) and correlated specific immune cell populations and phenotypes with relapse risk and poor prognostic outcomes. These results suggest that immune subpopulations may be an essential novel aspect for improving current risk stratification models. These single-cell data are also part of a prognostic analysis of myeloma subtypes reported in a second oral presentation, in which collaborators at Genentech develop more refined subtypes using this Immune Atlas data, with improved characterization of early relapse.
“The Immune Atlas data have shown how immune function provides additional information beyond tumor subtyping, refining our understanding of risk and potentially advancing prognostication and strategies for clinical trials,” said George Mulligan, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at the MMRF. “We will continue to push the envelope of innovative science in our urgent pursuit of better clinical strategies and more effective treatments for each and every patient with multiple myeloma.”
The CoMMpass Study is an ongoing study of patients with active multiple myeloma, who enrolled at diagnosis and are being followed for eight years. The study maps patients’ tumor genomic profile to clinical outcomes with the goal of developing a more complete understanding of both disease biology and the patient’s response to treatments. With its inclusion in more than 300 published or presented studies, CoMMpass represents the largest longitudinal genomic dataset in multiple myeloma and has led to groundbreaking discoveries that have transformed how researchers understand the biology of the disease. The MMRF makes the CoMMpass data available to researchers globally and updates results at regular intervals.
The MMRF Immune Atlas is a collaboration to study the immune system in multiple myeloma and establish a “gold standard” immune profiling platform for use in multiple myeloma research studies. This information, from hundreds of patients, will be combined with the existing genomic and clinical data from our CoMMpass Study to develop a more comprehensive picture of myeloma disease biology. These resulting insights will be helpful in guiding optimal therapy for myeloma patients.
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is the largest nonprofit in the world solely focused on accelerating a cure for each and every multiple myeloma patient. We drive the development and delivery of next-generation therapies, leverage data to identify optimal and more personalized treatment approaches and empower myeloma patients and the broader community with information and resources to extend their lives. Central to our mission is our commitment to advancing health equity so that all myeloma patients can benefit from the scientific and clinical advances we pursue. Since our inception, the MMRF has committed over $500 million for research, opened nearly 100 clinical trials, and helped bring 15+ FDA-approved therapies to market, which have tripled the life expectancy of myeloma patients. To learn more, visit www.themmrf.org.
Director, PR and Communications
Norwalk, Conn., November 15, 2023 — The Myeloma Investment Fund (MIF), the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation’s (MMRF) venture philanthropy subsidiary, today announced an investment in Reverb Therapeutics to explore the potential of its antibody-based Amplifier™ platform for the treatment of multiple myeloma with endogenous cytokines that naturally occur within the body.
Reverb is a seed-stage oncology company with a highly differentiated platform approach to cytokine therapy. Its Amplifier™ platform uses antibodies to localize endogenous cytokines to immune cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME) and overcome toxicity issues of exogenously delivered cytokines. Instead of using heavily engineered exogenous cytokines to treat diseases, which present challenges such as systemic toxicity and immunogenicity, Reverb’s antibodies redirect endogenous cytokines already in the body to cells of interest. With this round of funding, the MIF joins Reverb’s founding and lead investor Amplitude Ventures to support the company’s initial debut of its platform for the potential treatment of multiple myeloma and other cancers.
“We look forward to our partnership with Reverb Therapeutics and the potential of its Amplifier platform as a treatment for multiple myeloma,” said Michael Andreini, President and CEO at the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. “The MIF is committed to identifying and accelerating the most innovative treatment approaches for myeloma patients and we are excited by the potential of this novel approach to cytokine therapy.”
“We are excited about the power that the Myeloma Investment Fund brings to Reverb Therapeutics,” said David de Graaf, PhD, Founder and CEO of Reverb Therapeutics. “Having the scientific and clinical team at the MMRF available to an early-stage company is unique. We can translate their knowledge, focus, and dedication to improve the lives of multiple myeloma patients into impactful therapies such as our IL-15 programs.”
About the Myeloma Investment Fund
The Myeloma Investment Fund is a venture philanthropy fund that invests in promising companies, clinical assets, and technologies in oncology to drive the development of new therapies for multiple myeloma. The MIF collaborates closely with portfolio companies to help them advance multiple myeloma research. This evergreen fund is supported entirely by philanthropy; all profits will be reinvested back into research for more effective treatments until there is a cure for every patient. For more information, visit www.myelomainvestmentfund.org
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is the largest nonprofit in the world solely focused on accelerating a cure for each and every multiple myeloma patient. We drive the development and delivery of next-generation therapies, use data to drive optimal and more personalized treatment approaches, and empower myeloma patients with information and resources to extend their lives. Central to our mission is our commitment to advancing health equity so that all myeloma patients can benefit from the scientific and clinical advances we pursue. Since our inception, the MMRF has raised over $500 million for research, opened nearly 100 clinical trials, and helped bring 15+ FDA-approved therapies to market, which have tripled the life expectancy of myeloma patients. To learn more, visit www.themmrf.org.
About Reverb Therapeutics
Based in Vancouver, Reverb Therapeutics is the leader in the development of treatments for cancer and other diseases using the body’s natural endogenous cytokines. Reverb’s Amplifier™ Antibody platform avoids the systemic toxicity normally associated with cytokine treatments by increasing cytokine levels only in targeted tissues. Elements of Amplifier antibodies are reusable, allowing Reverb to rapidly scale its pipeline across multiple disease areas. Learn more about opportunities to work with Reverb by contacting [email protected].
Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Media Contact:
C.J. Volpe, Director, PR and Communications
Non-BCMA targeting bispecific antibodies are a relatively new class of therapeutics. In our Patient Webinar on October 11, 2023, Drs. Ajai Chari (UCSF) and Suzanne Trudel (University of Toronto, Princess Margaret Hospital, Ontario, Canada) provided fascinating updates on this emerging class of agents.
Bispecific antibodies belong to the drug class known as T-cell engagers, which also includes CAR T-cells. Unlike CAR T-cells, which are engineered (over the course of 4-6 weeks) from a patient’s own T-cells to better recognize and kill myeloma cells, bispecific antibodies are an “off-the-shelf” treatment that can bind to both myeloma cells and to T cells at the same time, bringing them in close proximity so that the T cells can recognize and kill the myeloma cells. There are now three bispecific antibody therapies approved in the US for myeloma patients who have received at least four previous lines of therapy; two of these bind to BCMA on the surface of myeloma cells, and one binds to a molecule called GPRC5D on the surface of myeloma cells.
Dr. Chari began by discussing Talvey (talquetamab), a GPRC5D-targeting bispecific antibody approved for use in the US. Historically speaking, the bispecific antibody drug class offers increased activity in highly pre-treated myeloma patients (those who have already received 4 or more lines of therapy). The relative activity of a number of different drugs in this patient population is seen in this slide:
In comparison to current standards of care, such as Pomalyst/dexamethasone, it is clear from this figure that the three currently approved bispecifics—teclistamab (Tecvayli), talquetamab (Talvey), and elranatamab (Elrexfio)—have superior activity in this patient population in terms of both progression-free survival and duration of response (NR means the duration of response was not reached, as so many patients were still responding at the time the data was collected). Dr. Chari also mentioned that of the 288 patients enrolled in the Talvey Phase1/2 trials, 51 had received prior therapy with T-cell engagers, and their response rate compared to those who had not previously received such therapy was only slightly lower (65% vs 73%).
Regarding side effects and adverse occurrences, Dr. Chari provided some further fascinating facts on Talvey not demonstrated on a slide. Dr. Chari stated that patients who experienced more severe side effects (particularly skin rashes and nail issues) also responded better to Talvey. As a result, there is a correlation between side effects and pharmacological action, which may give patients who are experiencing discomfort from side effects optimism that the medication may work for them. He added that patients with the most severe adverse effects can benefit from other treatments or dose decrease, and that generally, these side effects do get better with time.
Next, Dr. Trudel discussed cevostamab, a FcRH5-targeting bispecific antibody that is still in clinical trials. Two noteworthy pieces of information emerged from her presentation:
Thank you to these two amazing doctors, and also to our patient speaker, Nick Lenoir, for sharing their knowledge! Nick was especially interesting, as he is currently receiving treatment with Talvey and is having issues with side effects, so he was very happy to hear that this meant he is more apt to respond to this therapy.
For more information on bispecific antibodies and other myeloma therapies, please visit our Treatment Options page https://themmrf.org/diagnosis-and-treatment/treatment-options/.