NCCN Awards Research Grants to Eight Investigators to Support Clinical and Pre-Clinical Studies of Mirvetuximab Soravtansine in Various Cancers
The NCCN Oncology Research Program has awarded research grants to eight investigators to study the effectiveness of mirvetuximab soravtansine in folate receptor alpha-positive cancers.
FORT WASHINGTON, PA — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network ® ( NCCN ® ) Oncology Research Program ( ORP ) has awarded eight grants to investigators to support clinical and pre-clinical studies of mirvetuximab soravtansine (IMGN853) and advance scientific knowledge of its uses in ovarian and other folate receptor alpha (FRα)-positive cancers.
“This is another of the exciting research projects targeting unique vulnerabilities of cancer cells identified through molecular characterization of cancers,” said Robert C. Young, MD, Interim Vice President, NCCN ORP. “We are grateful to ImmunoGen for their funding of these eight promising studies aimed at targeted therapy in cancers that affect millions of women worldwide.”
“We are pleased to provide this funding to NCCN ORP to support preclinical and clinical exploration of our FRα-targeted agent mirvetuximab soravtansine,” said Anna Berkenblit, MD, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, ImmunoGen. “NCCN and its Member Institutions share in our mission to develop innovative therapies that meaningfully improve the lives of patients and this collaboration will help to further advance our understanding of the potential of mirvetuximab soravtansine.”
Mirvetuximab soravtansine (IMGN853) is a potential new treatment for cancers that highly express FRα, which include most cases of ovarian cancer and certain endometrial, breast, and lung cancers. An antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), mirvetuximab soravtansine comprises an ImmunoGen FRα-targeting antibody attached to the company's potent tubulin-acting agent, DM4. The antibody serves to target the compound specifically to cancer cells expressing FRα, and the DM4 serves to kill these cells. 
The following clinical studies were awarded funding:
- Kimberly Blackwell, MD, Duke Cancer Institute , “Determining the Clinical Efficacy and Predictive Biomarkers of Mirvetuximab Soravtansine (IMGN853) in Folate Receptor Alpha (FRA) Expressing, Chemotherapy Refractory Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC)”
- Mihaela Cristea, MD, City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center , “A Phase I, Dose Escalation Safety and Tolerability Study of Mirvetuximab Soravtansine and Gemcitabine in Patients with FRα Positive Recurrent Ovarian, Primary Peritoneal, Fallopian Tube, Endometrial, and Breast Cancer”
- Stacey Moulder, MD, MSCI, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center , “Women’s Triple-Negative First-Line Study: A Phase II Trial of Mirvetuximab Soravtansine in Patients with Localized Triple-Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) with Tumors Predicted Insensitive to Standard Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy (NACT), Including a Lead in Cohort to Establish Activity in Patients with Metastatic TNBC”
The following pre-clinical studies were awarded funding:
- Michael Birrer, MD, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center , “Mechanisms of Sensitivity and Resistance to Mirvetuximab Soravtansine: Ovarian Cancer and Mesothelioma”
- Analisa DiFeo, PhD, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute , “Identifying Susceptibilities and Candidate Pharmacodynamic Biomarkers for Mirvetuximab Soravtansine in High-Grade Ovarian and Endometrial Cancer”
- John Hays, MD, PhD, The Ohio State University Cancer Center – James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute , “Regulation of Folate Receptor Alpha Expression and Mirvetuximab Soravtansine Sensitivity in Endometrial Cancer through Selective Modulation of Estrogen Receptor”
- Albert Craig Lockhart, MD, Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine , “89Zr-DFO Labeling of M9346A to Further Characterize the Biology and Efficacy of Mirvetuximab Soravtansine in Animal Models for Future Clinical Applications”
- Yunfei Wen, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, “Promoting Autophagic Cell Death in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer by Mirvetuximab Soravtansine”
The awardees responded to a Request for Proposals issued by the ORP to the NCCN Member Institutions . Submissions were peer reviewed by the NCCN Mirvetuximab Soravtansine Scientific Review Committee. The funded concepts were selected based on several criteria, including scientific merit, existing data, and the types of studies necessary to further evaluate the efficacy of mirvetuximab soravtansine.
The NCCN ORP draws on the expertise of the investigators at the NCCN Member Institutions and their affiliates to facilitate all phases of clinical research. This research is made possible by collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in order to advance therapeutic options for patients with cancer.
For more information about NCCN ORP, visit NCCN.org/ORP .
About the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®), a not-for-profit alliance of 27 of the world’s leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education, is dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives. Through the leadership and expertise of clinical professionals at NCCN Member Institutions, NCCN develops resources that present valuable information to the numerous stakeholders in the health care delivery system. As the arbiter of high-quality cancer care, NCCN promotes the importance of continuous quality improvement and recognizes the significance of creating clinical practice guidelines appropriate for use by patients, clinicians, and other health care decision-makers.
The NCCN Member Institutions are: Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center, Omaha, NE; Case Comprehensive Cancer Center/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Institute, Cleveland, OH; City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, Los Angeles, CA; Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center | Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, MA; Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC; Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA; Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center/Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, WA; The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, Baltimore, MD; Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, IL; Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ, Jacksonville, FL, and Rochester, MN; Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL; The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute, Columbus, OH; Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY; Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN; Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, CA; University of Alabama at Birmingham Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, AL; UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, La Jolla, CA; UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, CA; University of Colorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO; University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, Ann Arbor, MI; The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN; and Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital, New Haven, CT.
 Ab, Olga, et al. IMGN853, an anti-Folate Receptor I antibody-maytansinoid conjugate for targeted cancer therapy. In: Proceedings of the 102nd Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research; 2011 Apr 2-6; Orlando, FL. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2011;71(8 Suppl):Abstract nr 4576. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2011-4576
Katie Kiley Brown, NCCN