A first-in-human study of the anti-LAG-3 antibody favezelimab plus pembrolizumab in previously treated, advanced microsatellite stable colorectal cancer

E. Garralda*, A. Sukari, N. J. Lakhani, A. Patnaik, Y. Lou, S. A. Im, T. Golan, R. Geva, M. Wermke, M. de Miguel, J. Palcza, S. Jha, M. Chaney, A. K. Abraham, J. Healy, G. S. Falchook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Treatment options are limited for participants with microsatellite stable (MSS) metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) that progressed after two or more prior therapies. Studies have shown that blockade of both lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG-3) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) can improve antitumor activity. Here, we evaluate the antitumor activity of the LAG-3 antibody favezelimab alone or in combination with pembrolizumab in participants with MSS mCRC. Patients and methods: Eligible participants with MSS PD-1/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) treatment-naive mCRC that progressed on two or more prior therapies received 800 mg favezelimab, 800 mg favezelimab plus 200 mg pembrolizumab, or 800 mg favezelimab/200 mg pembrolizumab co-formulation, every 3 weeks. The primary endpoint was safety, the secondary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR), and exploratory endpoints included duration of response, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS). Results: At the data cut-off date of 23 October 2020, a total of 20 participants received favezelimab alone, 89 received favezelimab plus pembrolizumab (including as favezelimab/pembrolizumab co-formulation); 48 had PD-L1 combined positive score (CPS) ≥1 tumors. At this interim analysis median follow-up was 5.8 months with favezelimab and 6.2 with favezelimab plus pembrolizumab. Treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) were 65% with favezelimab and 65.2% with favezelimab plus pembrolizumab. Grade ≥3 TRAEs were 15% with favezelimab and 20% with favezelimab plus pembrolizumab. No grade 5 TRAEs occurred. Common TRAEs (≥15%) included fatigue (20.0%), nausea (15.0%) with favezelimab, and fatigue (16.9%) with favezelimab plus pembrolizumab. Confirmed ORR was 6.3% with favezelimab plus pembrolizumab, with median duration of response of 10.6 months (range 5.6-12.7 months), median OS of 8.3 months (95% confidence interval 5.5-12.9 months), and median PFS of 2.1 months (1.9-2.2 months). In an exploratory analysis of PD-L1 CPS ≥1 tumors, the confirmed ORR was 11.1%, median OS was 12.7 months (4.5 to not reached), and median PFS was 2.2 months (1.8-4.2 months) with favezelimab plus pembrolizumab. Conclusions: Favezelimab with or without pembrolizumab had a manageable safety profile, with no treatment-related deaths. Promising antitumor activity was observed with combination therapy, particularly in participants with PD-L1 CPS ≥1 tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100639
JournalESMO Open
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2022


FundersFunder number
Merck Sharp and Dohme


    • LAG-3
    • PD-1
    • advanced
    • colorectal cancer


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