Vaccine Info

Anktiva plus BCG Vaccine

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Last reviewed
June 21, 2024

Anktiva® (N-803) plus BCG Vaccine Availability, Clinical Trials, Dosage, Side Effects

ImmunityBio, Inc. (Altor BioScience, LLCintravesical therapy Anktiva® (N-803) (nogapendekin alfa inbakicept-pmln) plus Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine is an approved combination therapy to treat adults with unresponsive non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) carcinoma in situ (CIS) with or without Ta/T1 papillary disease. The interleukin-15 (IL-15, generic name nogapendekin alfa) plays a crucial role in the immune system by affecting the development, maintenance, and function of the natural killer (NK) and T cells. N-803 is a novel IL-15 superagonist complex with an IL-15 mutant (IL-15N72D) bound to an IL-15 receptor α/IgG1 Fc fusion protein. Anktiva's triangle offense against cancer includes natural killer cells, T cells, and memory T cells.

The Company's Cancer Moonshot program (QUILT clinical trials) launched in January 2016. Anktiva is the backbone of ImmunityBio's Quantum Oncotherapeutics immunotherapy-based vaccine approach for treating multiple tumor types. "We hypothesized that activation and proliferation of natural killer cells through IL-15 stimulation could rescue T cells after checkpoint failure, regardless of tumor type or location. As with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, we believe that ANKTIVA enhanced the NK and T cell activity critical for targeting and killing cancer cells which have entered the phase of tumor evasion and resistance," said Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., Executive Chairman and Global Chief Scientific and Medical Officer at ImmunityBio, in a press release on April 25, 2024.

On April 22, 2024, ImmunityBio announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved (BLA 761336) ANKTIVA plus BCG for treating patients with BCG-unresponsive NMIBC with CIS, with or without papillary tumors. The U.S. FDA has approved Merck's TICE® BCG vaccine for this therapy. BCG has been a well-established immunotherapy for NMIBC since the 1970s

ImmunityBio is a vertically integrated biotechnology company based in Culver City, CA. It is developing next-generation therapies and vaccines that bolster the natural immune system to defeat cancers and infectious diseases. The Company's pipeline is based on broad immunotherapy and cell therapy platforms designed to attack cancer and infectious pathogens by activating the innate and adaptive branches of the immune system in an orchestrated manner. ImmunityBio's clinical pipeline consists of 27 clinical trials—18 in phase 2 or 3 development. On January 2, 2024, the Company announced an aggregate of $850 million in capital raised in 2023, with $320 million from institutional investors and $530 million from the founder, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. On April 25, 2024, the Company confirmed $100 million in non-dilutive cash infusion with Anktiva's FDA approval, bringing cash-on-hand to approximately $240 million for the launch of ANKTIVA in NMIBC.

Anktiva plus BCG Vaccine Availability

On June 20, 2024, ImmunityBio, Inc. announced the initial treatment of multiple patients in the U.S. to receive therapy with ANKTIVA®. Several patients are being treated by community urologists, as the therapy does not require any special handling or equipment. According to an X post by @DrPatSoonShiong, the initial 1,000 doses of ANKTIVA shipped on May 1, 2024. The Company previously announced that ANKTIVA® Drug Substance was completed and released with two-year storage stability data sufficient for 170,000 doses.

Anktiva plus BCG Vaccine Price

In 2024, Anktiva will be priced at $35,800 per dose. 

Bladder Cancer Patient Treatment Costs

The annual projected cost of bladder cancer treatment is over $2 billion. The cost profile differs substantially among the stages of the disease. The average price per patient varied from $19,521 (stage 0a) to $169,533 (metastatic disease).

Anktiva plus BCG Vaccine Payment Options

The ImmunityBio CARE™ program is designed to help patients access ImmunityBio’s innovative treatment for NMIBC CIS. The program offers services and resources for benefits investigation, prior authorization support and tracking, coding, and billing assistance, claim denial guidance, and payer-specific appeal assistance. Multiple healthcare plans cover ANKTIVA reimbursement. More information for patients and healthcare professionals is available on

Anktiva Access to BCG Vaccines

On May 2, 2024, ImmunityBio, Inc. announced an exclusive arrangement with the Serum Institute of India (SII) to supply the Company with BCG vaccines. The agreement covers the manufacturing of standard BCG (sBCG) currently approved for use outside the U.S. and a next-generation recombinant BCG (iBCG) undergoing testing. Two gene modifications have been implemented in BCG to improve its immunogenicity and safety, leading to iBCG. It is intended for use with Anktiva for currently approved and potential future indications, subject to regulatory approvals. The companies plan to accelerate the ongoing Phase 2 clinical trials of iBCG in Europe, which has demonstrated safety advantages over sBCG and enhanced immunogenicity in driving both CD8+ and CD4 T cells. ImmunityBio plans to submit this protocol to the U.S. FDA and global regulatory bodies in mid-2024.

Anktiva plus BCG Vaccine Mechanism of Action

Anktiva's mechanism of action is direct specific stimulation of CD8+ T cells and Natural Killer (NK) through beta gamma T-cell receptor binding, generating memory T-cells while avoiding T-reg stimulation. N-803 is designed to have improved pharmacokinetic properties, longer persistence in lymphoid tissues, and enhanced anti-tumor activity compared to native, non-complexed IL-15 in vivo. The IL-15 superagonist N-803 acts synergistically with Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG). As a result, n-803 has improved pharmacokinetic properties, longer persistence in lymphoid tissues, and enhanced anti-tumor activity compared to native, non-complexed IL-15 in vivo.

The superagonist N-803 has been studied in more than 700 patients in multiple phases 1 and 2 clinical trials in liquid and solid tumors. In addition to the study in NMIBC, it is currently being studied in trials for pancreatic cancer, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and HIV. On November 10, 2022, the journal NEJM Evidence published its conclusion from a phase 2/3 study: In patients with BCG-unresponsive bladder carcinoma in situ and papillary NMIBC treated with BCG and the novel agent NAI, CRs were achieved with the persistence of effect, cystectomy avoidance, and 100% bladder cancer–specificity survival at 24 months. Given the observed strong efficacy and favorable AE profile and mode of administration, N-803 represents a significant advance in the treatment option compared to existing therapies for BCG unresponsive CIS and Papillary NMIBC, as these researchers wrote in 2022. On December 27, 2022, an editorial from urological cancer experts from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center stated: "The efficacy and minimal toxicity of this combination represents a major advance for the care of patients with BCG-unresponsive NMIBC, and the authors should be congratulated. In addition, this promising combination offers a potential alternative to cystectomy and may allow us to move beyond single-arm studies toward randomized phase 3 trials against other novel therapies."

On February 5, 2024, the Company announced that the journal Urology Practice published findings from Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs) of participants in the phase 2/3 QUILT 3.032 study. These PROs support the positive interim results from the study published in NEJM Evidence, wherein 71% of patients in cohort A with CIS with or without Ta/T1 disease achieved a complete response. The finding of the relative stability of global health and physical function during the study is similar to that reported by others for BCG monotherapy, suggesting the novel combination is as tolerable as treatment with BCG alone.

Anktiva Plus BCG Vaccine Dosage

For dosage induction, 400 mcg of Anktiva with BCG vaccine is administered intravesically once a week for six weeks. A second induction course may be administered if the complete response is not achieved at month 3. For maintenance, 400 mcg of Antiva is administered intravesically with BCG once a week for three weeks at months 4, 7, 10, 13, and 19. Additional maintenance instillations with BCG may be required for patients with an ongoing complete response at month 25 and later.

U.S. FDA Review Anktiva Plus BCG Vaccine

The U.S. FDA approved Anktiva on April 22, 2024. On October 23, 2023, ImmunityBio announced it completed the resubmission of a Biologics License Application (BLA) to the U.S. FDA for N-803 (Anktiva®). Recent study results support the BLA, including the pivotal Phase II/III, open-label, single-arm, multicenter QUILT-3.032 clinical study published in NEJM Evidence in November 2022. N-803 has received both FDA Breakthrough Therapy and Fast Track designated treatment of BCG-unresponsive NMIBC CIS and Fast Track designation for BCG-unresponsive NMIBC papillary and BCG-naïve NMIBC CIS.

Anktiva plus BCG Therapy Bladder Cancer Indication

Bladder cancer is the 9th most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2022. In the U.S., the American Cancer Society estimates there will be 83,190 new cases and 16,840 deaths from bladder cancer in 2024. The Company stated while BCG vaccination is an effective treatment for many patients, it doesn't work for an estimated 40% of NMIBC cases. Patients with intermediate or high-risk NMIBC typically receive a treatment of transurethral resection of the bladder tumor (TURBT) followed by BCG intravesical instillation. However, cancer will recur in 30% to 40% of patients with NMIBC despite adequate treatment with BCG. Moreover, even among those in whom a complete response is achieved with BCG, up to 50% see their cancer return.

Anktiva plus BCG Therapy Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Indication

On April 25, 2024, ImmunityBio announced positive overall survival results in the QUILT 3.055 study of 2nd- and 3rd-line Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who progressed after checkpoint inhibitor therapy (pembrolizumab, nivolumab, or atezolizumab) and standard-of-care chemotherapy. The study's results reinforce ImmunityBio's belief in the unique mechanism of action of ANKTIVA (N-803, or nogapendekin alfa inbakicept-pmln) and its potential efficacy as a next-generation immunotherapy across multiple solid and liquid tumor types.

Anktiva plus BCG Therapy Side Effects

Anktiva's most common (≥15%) adverse reactions, including laboratory test abnormalities, are increased creatinine, dysuria, hematuria, urinary frequency, micturition urgency, urinary tract infection, increased potassium, musculoskeletal pain, chills, and pyrexia. Pregnancy: May cause fetal harm. Advise females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to a fetus and to use effective contraception.

Tri-Ad5 Vaccine Combination With N-803

On April 25, 2023, ImmunityBio, Inc. announced the opening of a phase 2b clinical trial to study its investigational Tri-Ad5 vaccine combination (Adenovirus 5 CEA/MUC1/brachyury) together with its IL-15 superagonist N-803 for people with a hereditary condition known as Lynch syndrome to prevent colorectal and other cancers in study participants.

Anktiva plus BCG Therapy News

June 20, 2024 - Richard Adcock, President and CEO of ImmunityBio, stated, “We look forward to ANKTIVA reaching more and more eligible NMIBC patients and for our science to deliver even more therapies from our pipeline.”

May 2, 2024 - "We are pleased to partner with the Serum Institute of India so that the power of its large-scale, world-class GMP manufacturing capacity can be used to address the issue of BCG shortage, which affects thousands of bladder cancer patients annually," said Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., Executive Chairman and Global Chief Scientific and Medical Officer at ImmunityBio. 

April 22, 2024 - "The FDA's approval of ANKTIVA marks our launch of a next-generation immunotherapy beyond checkpoint inhibitors," said Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., Executive Chairman and Global Chief Scientific and Medical Officer at ImmunityBio.

February 5, 2024 - "Many current therapies for bladder cancer slow disease progression but can cause debilitating side effects," commented Principal Investigator Karim Chamie, M.D., Associate Professor of Urology at UCLA, in a press release. "The QUILT 3.032 Quality of Life study data suggest that many patients not only have a durable response but also report no decline in physical function, which is very important for these patients."

January 2, 2024 - "This transaction raises significant capital for the Company to support important growth plans, yet with limited equity dilution and with a cap on total payments tied to the initial investment," said Richard Adcock, Chief Executive Officer and President of ImmunityBio.

October 26, 2023 - "We are pleased that the FDA has accepted ImmunityBio's resubmission of the BLA as a complete response, following our productive interactions leading up to the resubmission," said Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., Executive Chairman and Global Chief Scientific and Medical Officer at ImmunityBio.

February 16, 2023—ImmunityBio, Inc. announced that it had executed financing expected to result in gross proceeds at closing of approximately $50 million before deducting any offering-related expenses, subject to customary closing conditions. The warrants could result in additional gross proceeds of up to $60 million if fully exercised.

November 10, 2022 -  NEJM Evidence has published results from the QUILT 3.032 phase 2/3 clinical trial studying N-803 plus BCG in adults with NMIBC CIS with or without Ta/T1 papillary disease.

July 28, 2022 - The U.S. FDA accepted a BLA from ImmunityBio, Inc. for review.

February 2022 - Data presented at the ASCO® Genitourinary Cancers Symposium showed a complete response in 59 of 83 patients 7 with a 1% CR rate (95% CI: 60.1, 80.5) and a median duration of CR of 24.1 months. In patients who responded to the investigational therapeutic, the probability of avoiding bladder cancer and cystectomy progress at 24 months exceeded 90%. In addition, the combination of Anktiva and BCG had a well-tolerated profile with 0% treatment-related severe adverse events (SAEs), 0% immune-related AEs, and 100% bladder cancer-specific overall survival at 24 months.

January 2019 - ScienceDirect published a Brief Correspondence: Prognostic Implication of the U.S. FDA-defined BCG-unresponsive Disease.

N-803 plus BCG Vaccine Clinical Trials

N-803 is currently being evaluated in adult patients in two clinical NMIBC trials. QUILT-2.005 is investigating the use of N-803 in combination with BCG for patients with BCG-naïve NMIBC; QUILT-3.032 is studying N-803 in combination with BCG in patients with BCG-unresponsive NMIBC CIS and Papillary Disease. QUILT 3.032 Registrational Trial of IL-15 Superagonist N-803 Plus BCG in Patients with Bladder Cancer - results presentation.

In February 2024 - The ongoing phase 2/3 open-label multicenter registrational study QUILT 3.032 (NCT03022825) is evaluating the safety and efficacy of the investigational interleukin-15 superagonist N-803 (also known as Anktiva® and nogapendekin alfa in Aricept, NAI) in combination with standard therapy for NMIBC, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), in patients who failed or in whom cancer returned after BCG monotherapy, and thus were diagnosed as BCG-unresponsive. Durability, cystectomy avoidance, progression-free survival, disease-specific survival (DSS), and overall survival are secondary endpoints for cohort A. Cohort C was discontinued due to a low response rate with N-803 monotherapy, per study design.

In 2022 - An open-label, multicenter Phase 3 study (QUILT 3.032) of intravesical BCG plus N-803 in patients with BCG-unresponsive high-grade NMIBC (NCT03022825) with CIS and Papillary disease is reported. Results: Cohort A (CIS) Efficacy: Fully enrolled n = 81 with a 20.9-month median follow-up. CR rate 72% (95% CI: 60.5%, 81.1%) with a median duration for 3-month responders of 24.1 months and a 60% probability of maintaining this CR for ≥ 18 months (95% CI: 43.1%, 73.5%). The 12-month cystectomy-free rate is 89% (95% CI: 80.1%, 94.6%), with a 100% cancer-specific survival rate at 24 months. Cohort B (Papillary) Efficacy: To date, 73 patients have enrolled with a median follow-up of 17.3 months. The primary endpoint was met with a disease-free rate at 12 months is 57% (95% CI: 43.7% 68.5%), and at 18 months, 53% (95% CI: 38.8%, 64.8%). The 12-month cystectomy-free rate is 95% (95% CI: 84.7%, 98.3%), with a 98% cancer-specific survival rate at 24 months. Combined Efficacy: In the combined group (n = 154) of BCG unresponsive NMIBC, with a 19.3 months median follow-up, the 12-month cystectomy-free rate was 92% (95% CI: 85.5%, 95.3%), and the 24 months OS is 94% (95% CI: 86.9%, 97.1%) with 99.5% cancer-specific overall survival. Combined Safety: There were 0% treatment-related SAE's and 0% immune-related SAEs, with 4/ 154 (3%) ≥ TR Grade 3 AEs. 0% treatment-related deaths have occurred as of Sept 2021 analysis date.

Clinical Trials

No clinical trials found