Cancer Research UK and Biotecnol will together trial an experimental immuno-oncology aimed at advanced tumours.
The treatment will move into early phase clinical trials for patients with advanced solid tumours – including lung cancers.
Tb535H – the first-in-class Fdrug – is the inaugural treatment from Biotecnol’s novel antibody development platform, Trisoma.
It is directed against the 5T4/WAIF1 tumour antigen, a protein found on many different solid tumours and is thought to contribute to the spread of cancer cells.
Tb535H recruits the patient’s T-cells –killer cells of the immune-system – and directs them to attack tumours. This highly targeted approach uses the patient’s own immune system to fight cancer.
The WAIF1 antigen was discovered by scientists at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute.
It could be a valuable target in many different cancer types, but the initial focus in this trial will be to treat cancers with high unmet-need.
This includes thoracic cancers such as mesothelioma, small-cell lung carcinoma and non-small cell lung cancer – for which survival remains very low – and renal cell carcinoma.
Biotecnol and Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development will collaborate to take forward Tb535H through a Biotecnol-sponsored first-in-man Phase I clinical trial, using Cancer Research UK’s drug development expertise in return for shareholdings in Biotecnol.
Dr Nigel Blackburn, Cancer Research UK added: “It’s hugely exciting to be able to accelerate the development of a drug that could change outcomes for patients with many different types of cancer.
“In particular we urgently need new ways to improve treatment for lung cancer, which causes more than one in five of all cancer deaths in the UK.”