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Cancer Research UK partners with Biotecnol to deliver experimental solid tumour drug

Published on 10/08/17 at 10:39am

Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has announced a collaboration with Biotecnol, an immuno-oncology firm focused on the development of multifunctional antibodies in areas of unmet need, to develop an experimental treatment for advanced solid tumours

The agreement between the two organisations means that Biotecnol will leverage CRUK’s expertise in drug development to push its therapy, known only as Tb535H, through its first in-man Phase 1 clinical trial, while CRUK will benefit from shareholdings in its partner.

The drug is the first product of Biotecnol’s novel antibody development platform Trisoma, and targets tumour antigen 5T4/WAIF1, a protein discovered at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute which is prevalent in many solid tumours and is theorised as integral in the spread of cancer cells. As an immunotherapy, the drug directs the body’s T cells to attack the tumour and its proteins.

While the therapy could prove useful in many cancer subtypes, it will be first directed against areas of unmet need, such as non-small cell lung cancer, mesothelioma, renal cell carcinoma, and small-cell lung carcinoma.

“We’re very proud to work with Cancer Research UK on the development of advanced clinical trial approaches in this competitive and highly promising field of immuno-oncology,” remarked Pedro de Noronha Pissarra, Chief Executive Officer of Biotecnol. “The collaboration is important for Biotecnol’s strategy of working with top cancer institutions in the immune-oncology field which will accelerate the development of cutting-edge therapeutic approaches to fight cancer.”

Dr Nigel Blackburn, Cancer Research UK’s Director of Drug Development also commented: “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. Without this collaboration it might have been years before this treatment reached patients so we‘re pleased to work with Biotecnol to elevate their novel drug development platform.”

Matt Fellows

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