$5 million to fund trial of therapy for uveal melanoma

Cancer research

Cancer Focus Fund is investing $5 million in funding to support ISA103, ISA Pharmaceuticals’ PRAME-targeting immunotherapy, in a first-in-human study for the treatment of uveal melanoma, a rare ocular cancer. 

Cancer Focus Fund was established in collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to provide funding and clinical expertise to advance promising cancer therapies. 

ISA103 immunotherapy targets PRAME (PReferentially expressed Antigen in MElanoma), a cancer testis antigen that is overexpressed in various solid and liquid cancers. It plays a crucial role in tumour survival and spread.  

ISA103 was developed using the company’s Synthetic Long Peptide (SLP) technology, designed to fully harness and direct the body’s defense mechanisms towards fighting the disease. It contains multiple long peptides spanning the most immunogenic regions of the PRAME protein.   

“Cancer Focus Fund is committed to using its investments to support the clinical development of truly innovative cancer therapies,” said Ross Barrett, a founder and Managing Partner of Cancer Focus Fund. “ISA’s multi-pronged approach to the design and development of fully synthetic novel immunotherapeutics has great potential and importantly, has already demonstrated early success in its initial programmes.”  

In the two-part, open label Phase Ib/II trial, ISA103 will be tested in combination with standard of care checkpoint blocker immunotherapies. An initial dose-finding phase will be followed by an expansion cohort using the optimal dose.  

Study endpoints will include safety, immunogenicity and signs of efficacy (response rates and survival indicators). A total of 90 patients will be enrolled in the trial. 

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