I-Mab has dosed the first subject in China in a Phase I clinical trial of antibody, TJ-CD4B (ABL111), for individuals with solid tumours, including gastric cancer, gastroesophageal junction carcinoma, oesophageal adenocarcinoma, and pancreatic ductal carcinoma.

The first bispecific antibody of its drug class in the clinical stage, TJ-CD4B is a new Claudin 18.2 x 4-1BB bispecific antibody.

It attaches to cancer cells expressing Claudin 18.2 and co-stimulatory molecule 4-1BB on T cells to offer a tumour-killing effect. 

I-Mab is developing the antibody in partnership with South Korean clinical-stage biotechnology firm ABL Bio.

The global, multicentre trial will analyse the potential of TJ-CD4B in cancer patients for various malignancies that do not have effective treatments presently.

In preclinical studies, the antibody showed the potential to be an effective therapy option. 

Furthermore, it has a wider anti-tumour effect on tumours expressing reduced Claudin 18.2 levels.

Apart from the trial in China, TJ-CD4B/ABL111 is being analysed in a Phase I trial in the US.

I-Mab president Dr Andrew Zhu said: “TJ-CD4B, powered by 4-1BB-activation platform, is a promising asset of the company’s highly innovative bispecific antibody pipeline and represents the new generation of I-Mab’s continued innovation. 

“This asset has the potential to treat highly challenging cancers such as gastric cancer, one of the most prevalent cancer types in China and an illness that often suffers from poor prognosis.”

In June this year, the company concluded enrolment of participants in the Phase III TALLER trial of eftansomatropin alfa (TJ101) to treat paediatric growth hormone deficiency in China.