LG Chem and its subsidiary AVEO Oncology have announced the commencement of a Phase I clinical study of LB-LR1109, an anti-cancer investigational drug candidate, with the enrolment of the first subject in the US.

The open-label, multicentre, non-randomised, dose-escalation study will establish the recommended Phase II LB-LR1109 dose.

It will also assess the drug’s safety, initial efficacy, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, immunogenicity, and pharmacodynamics, impact on patients’ quality of life following treatment.

Participants in the trial include individuals with unresectable and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma or urothelial carcinoma who have not responded to standard treatments.

LB-LR1109 demonstrated dose-dependent anti-cancer effects in preclinical studies, leading to the approval of an investigational new drug application by the US Food and Drug Administration in December last year.

LB-LR1109 targets the Leukocyte Immunoglobulin Like Receptor B-1 (LILRB1), a protein that cancer cells release to evade immune system attacks.

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By activating multiple immune cell types, including T cells, natural killer cells, and macrophages, LB-LR1109 may offer a new approach to cancer treatment that differs from existing therapies which typically focus on a single type of immune cell.

LG Chem Life Sciences president Jeewoong Son said: “We are focusing all our capabilities to provide innovative treatments that will be recognised by medical professionals and patients, as we aim to improve the lives of patients with cancer.

“While this is the first oncology compound from LG Chem, we are developing a robust pipeline that target novel oncology targets. We will continue to offer differentiated treatment options in the oncology field, where there is the greatest unmet medical need.”

In January 2022, AVEO Oncology and German company Merck KGaA signed a clinical trial partnership and supply agreement to assess ficlatuzumab plus ERBITUX (cetuximab) in recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients.