Background: CMP-001 comprises a CpG-A oligodeoxynucleotide packaged within a virus-like particle. It is designed to activate tumor-associated plasmacytoid dendritic cells via TLR9 inducing an interferon-rich tumor microenvironment and anti-tumor CD8+ T cell responses.

Materials and Methods: CMP-001-001 is an ongoing phase Ib trial evaluating intratumoral (IT) CMP-001 in combination with pembrolizumab (administered per label) in subjects with advanced melanoma resistant (either did not respond or progressed) on prior anti-PD-1 monotherapy or in combination. During dose escalation, subjects were enrolled to cohorts of ≥ 3 subjects at CMP-001 doses of 1, 3, 5, 7.5, and 10 mg in two dosing schedules (weekly for 7w, followed by q3w; or weekly for 2w, followed by q3w). CMP-001 was administered IT into an accessible lesion(s), and response assessed in all target lesions (injected and non-injected) by RECIST v1.1. Study therapy was continued until progression, toxicity, investigator decision or withdrawal of consent. Baseline and on-therapy serum was collected for cytokine analysis. Immunohistochemical and RNA-Seq analysis was performed on available pre- and post-treatment tumor biopsies.

Results: As of December 31, 2017, 68 subjects have been treated (44 in Escalation and 24 in Expansion). Safety data from 63 subjects demonstrated a manageable acute toxicity profile consisting predominately of fever, N/V, headache, hypotension and rigors. Grade 3/4 related AEs reported in ≥1 subject; hypotension (n=7), anemia (n=2), chills (n=2), hypertension (n=2) and fever (n=2). The Objective Response Rates (ORR) across all dose cohorts on weekly (n=40) and q3week schedules (n=13) were 22.5% (9/40; 95 % CI 11-39%) and 7.7%% (1/13; 95% CI 0-36%) respectively. For subjects dosed weekly at 3 and 5 mg, the ORR was 33.3% (6/18 95% CI 13-59%). Of the 10 responders, 1 progressed (w36), 2 withdrew consent (w13, w25), 7 remain on study with 2 subjects maintaining their response though w72. Regression of non-injected tumors occurred in cutaneous, nodal, hepatic, and splenic metastases. CMP-001 induced TLR9 activation with a median 5.9 fold increase in serum CXCL10 (range of 0.9 - 276.3; mean fold increase of 21.8 with SD=48.8; n=39). Immunohistochemical and RNA-Seq analysis of tumor biopsies revealed increases in tumor-infiltrating CD8 T cells (>5 fold), PD-L1 expression (>3 fold increase in H score), and transcriptional signature of inflammation in 2/4 subjects with analyzable pre-and post-treatment samples.

Conclusions: CMP-001 in combination with pembrolizumab resulted in objective, durable tumor responses with tolerable toxicities in subjects with advanced melanoma resistant to prior anti-PD-1 therapy. CMP-001 dosing at 5 mg/weekly has been selected for further evaluation in the ongoing dose expansion phase of this study.

Citation Format: Mohammed Milhem, Rene Gonzales, Theresa Medina, John M. Kirkwood, Elizabeth Buchbinder, Inderjit Mehmi, Jiaxin Niu, Montaser Shaheen, Ryan Weight, Kim Margolin, Jason Luke, Aaron Morris, David Mauro, Arthur M. Krieg, Antoni Ribas. Intratumoral toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) agonist, CMP-001, in combination with pembrolizumab can reverse resistance to PD-1 inhibition in a phase Ib trial in subjects with advanced melanoma [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2018; 2018 Apr 14-18; Chicago, IL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2018;78(13 Suppl):Abstract nr CT144.