Nectin Therapeutics has expanded its Phase I clinical trial of a monoclonal antibody, NTX1088 to further four international sites, including two study centres in Israel.

The company will enrol subjects at Sheba Medical Center, Hadassah Medical Center, Ochsner Health, and City of Hope along with flagship study centre, MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The trial will have a combination treatment group to evaluate NTX1088 along with immune-oncology drug KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) of Merck (MSD).

A lead candidate of the company, NTX1088 monoclonal antibody targets PVR (CD155).

This novel therapeutic approach is designed to restore antitumour immune activity by reinstating DNAM1 (CD226), a critical protein for T and NK cell function, which is suppressed by tumour cells.

The blockade of PVR by NTX1088 is unique in its mechanism, aiming to enhance the antitumour response by reactivating DNAM1.

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Additionally, it prevents the inhibitory signaling of various immune checkpoint receptors, including TIGIT and CD96, further stimulating the potential of immune system to fight tumours.

In preclinical models, NTX1088 has shown superior antitumor activity compared with existing and investigational immune checkpoint inhibitors. Its safety profile was also observed to be favourable in non-human primate studies.

Nectin Therapeutics chief development officer Dr Keren Paz said: “Nectin’s innovative pipeline holds a therapeutic promise for patients with hard-to-treat cancers.

“This transformational potential is proudly driven by dedicated research efforts in Israel, making it very compelling for Nectin to establish trial sites close to home.

“We are encouraged by the rapid progress of our NTX1088 clinical programme and are excited to expand it globally.”

In December last year, the company dosed the first participant in a Phase I clinical trial of NTX1088 in patients with locally advanced and metastatic solid tumour. 

This first-in-human, open-label trial is being conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and is backed by investment from the Cancer Focus Fund.