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Evaluation of the Safety and Tolerability of i.v. Administration of a Cancer Vaccine in Patients With Advanced Melanoma (Lipo-MERIT)

This study is currently recruiting participants.
Verified June 2016 by Biontech RNA Pharmaceuticals GmbH
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
First Posted: April 8, 2015
Last Update Posted: June 8, 2016
The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Biontech RNA Pharmaceuticals GmbH
The purpose of this study is to determine the safety and tolerability of intravenous administration of a tetravalent RNA-lipoplex cancer vaccine targeting four tumor-associated antigens in patients with advanced melanoma.

Condition Intervention Phase
Melanoma Biological: Lipo-MERIT Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Clinical First-in-human Dose Escalation Study Evaluating the Safety and Tolerability of Intravenous Administration of a Tetravalent RNA-lipoplex Cancer Vaccine Targeting Four Tumour-associated Antigens in Patients With Advanced Melanoma

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Biontech RNA Pharmaceuticals GmbH:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Number of Adverse Events as a Measure of safety and tolerability [ Time Frame: 120 days ]
    Number of patients with adverse events, total number of adverse events, dose limiting toxicities

  • Maximum Tolerated Dose (MTD) [ Time Frame: dose escalation phase ]
    MTD for multiple dosing of Lipo-MERIT vaccine by assessment of patient data, adverse events and/or dose limiting toxicities (DLT) by the independent data safety monitoring board (DSMB)

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Change of induced T-cell responses for Lipo-MERIT vaccine from visit 2 (day 1) to day 71 (assessed by immunoassays) [ Time Frame: 71 days ]
    Vaccine induced T-cell responses assessed by immunoassays in peripheral blood and skin

  • Clinical Monitoring of tumour lesions (determined by CT or MRI results evaluated by irRECIST) [ Time Frame: 90 days ]
    Tumour lesion status as determined by CT or MRI results evaluated by irRECIST

Estimated Enrollment: 39
Study Start Date: March 2015
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2018
Estimated Primary Completion Date: January 2018 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Lipo-MERIT

• 5 dose escalation cohorts (3 patients each cohort)

One expanded cohort:

24 patients will be treated with the MTD or a target dose defined by the sponsor

Biological: Lipo-MERIT

Detailed Description:
  • The Lipo-MERIT vaccine consists of the four naked ribonucleic acid (RNA)-drug products (DPs) RBL001.1, RBL002.2, RBL003.1, and RBL004.1 that are optimised to induce antigen-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses against four selected malignant melanoma-associated antigens respectively.
  • In this study, naked RNA DPs will be formulated with liposomes to form RNA-lipoplexes (RNA(LIP)) that (i) protect RNA from degradation in the serum, (ii) enable in vivo targeting of systemic antigen-presenting cells (APC), and therefore (iii) constitute a novel vaccine formulation that supports intravenous administration.
  • The Lipo-MERIT vaccine is expected to lead to several effects contributing to its immunological (therapeutic) effect. First, the RNA-lipoplexes home to APCs in lymphoid organs after intravenous injection, where they are rapidly taken up by professional APCs. Incorporated RNA is translocated to the cytoplasm leading to its translation by the host ribosome complex into four Antigen encoding proteins which are processed and presented on both HLA-class I as well as HLA-class II molecules. Consecutively, antigen-specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cell responses will be triggered by HLA-peptide complexes on the surface of antigen-presenting cells.
  • In addition, the Lipo-MERIT vaccine is expected to transiently activate APCs (change of surface marker expression and cytokine secretion) via signalling of TLRs, subsequently leading to the transient induction of inflammatory cytokines (such as IFN-α and IP-10) supporting the induction of tumour-antigen specific T cell responses.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Cohort I: stage IV malignant melanoma (AJCC 2009 melanoma classification)
  • Cohorts II-V: stage IIIB-C, or stage IV of malignant melanoma (AJCC 2009 melanoma classification)
  • Therapy only for subjects not eligible or declining any other available approved therapy after all available treatment options have been transparently disclosed (to be documented!)
  • Expression of either one of four TAA confirmed by RT-qPCR analysis from FFPE
  • ≥ 18 years of age
  • Written informed consent
  • ECOG performance status (PS) 0-1
  • Life expectancy > 6 months
  • WBC ≥ 3x10E9/L
  • Hemoglobin ≥ 10 g/dL
  • Platelet count ≥ 100,000/mm³
  • LDH level < 2.0 x ULN
  • ALT/AST < 3 x ULN (except patients with liver metastasis)
  • Negative pregnancy test (measured by β-HCG) for females with childbearing age

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding
  • Primary ocular melanoma
  • Concurrence of a second malignancy other than squamous or basal cell carcinoma, non-active prostate cancer or cervical carcinoma in situ or non-active treated urothelial carcinoma
  • Brain metastases
  • Post-splenectomy patients
  • Known or symptomatic pleural effusions and/or ascites
  • Known hypersensitivity to the active substance or to any of the excipients
  • A serious local infection (e. g. cellulitis, abscess) or systemic infection (e. g. pneumonia, septicemia) which requires systemic antibiotic treatment within 2 weeks prior to the first dose of study medication
  • Positive test for acute or chronic active hepatitis B or C infection
  • Clinically relevant autoimmune disease
  • Systemic immune suppression:

    • HIV disease
    • Use of chronic oral or systemic steroid medication (topical or inhalational steroids are permitted)
    • Other clinical relevant systemic immune suppression
  • Symptomatic congestive heart failure (NYHA 3 or 4)
  • Unstable angina pectoris
  • Radiotherapy and minor surgery within 14 days prior to the first administration of study treatment
  • Myelosuppressive chemotherapy within 14 days and after reconstitution of blood values prior to the first administration of study treatment
  • Ipilimumab within 28 days prior to the first administration of study treatment
  • Interferon, major surgery,vaccination, and other investigational agents within 28 days or 5 half-lifes depending on what gives the longer range before the first treatment
  • Approved BRAF inhibitors Vemurafenib or Dabrafenib, approved anti-PD-1 antibodies Opdivo or Keytruda as well as the approved MEK inhibitor Trametinib in patients of the dose escalation cohorts. Concomitant treatment with approved BRAF Inhibitors, approved anti-PD-1 antibodies or MEK inhibitor as well as the approved combination of BRAF-MEK inhibitors is allowed for patients included in the expanded cohort, after analysis of safety data collected for the dose escalation cohorts and DSMB approval. Local radiation will be allowed as concurrent treatment.
  • Fertile males and females who are unwilling to use a highly effective method of birth control (less than 1% per year, e.g. condom with spermicide, diaphragm with spermicide, birth control pills, injections, patches or intrauterine device) during study treatment and 28 days after the last dose of study treatment
  • Presence of a serious concurrent illness or other condition (e. g. psychological, family, sociological, or geographical circumstances) that does not permit adequate follow-up and compliance with the protocol
  Contacts and Locations
Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT02410733

Contact: Doreen Schwarck-Kokarakis, Dr doreen.schwarck@biontech.de
Contact: Alexandra Kemmer-Brueck alexandra.kemmer-brueck@biontech.de

Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität Frankfurt, Klinik für Dermatologie, Venerologie und Allergologie Recruiting
Frankfurt, Germany, 60590
Universität Heidelberg, Dermatologie und NCT Recruiting
Heidelberg, Germany, 69120
Universitätsmedizin Mainz, Hautklinik und Poliklinik Recruiting
Mainz, Germany, 55131
Universitätsmedizin Mannheim, Klinik für Dermatologie, Venerologie und Allergologie Recruiting
Mannheim, Germany, 68167
Sponsors and Collaborators
Biontech RNA Pharmaceuticals GmbH
Study Director: Ugur Sahin, Prof. Dr. Biontech RNA Pharmaceuticals GmbH
  More Information

Responsible Party: Biontech RNA Pharmaceuticals GmbH
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02410733     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: RB_0003-01
First Submitted: March 24, 2015
First Posted: April 8, 2015
Last Update Posted: June 8, 2016
Last Verified: June 2016

Keywords provided by Biontech RNA Pharmaceuticals GmbH:
cancer vaccine
BioNTech RNA Pharmaceuticals
BioNTech RNA

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Neuroendocrine Tumors
Neuroectodermal Tumors
Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Neoplasms, Nerve Tissue
Nevi and Melanomas
Immunologic Factors
Physiological Effects of Drugs