BioInvent International (BINV) and Oncurious have collaborated with the Neuroblastoma and Medulloblastoma Translational Research Consortium (NMTRC) to accelerate a Phase I/IIa trial of TB-403.
The trial will evaluate the potential treatment in paediatric patients with rare life-threatening cancers, such as medulloblastoma, neuroblastoma, and Ewing's sarcoma.
TB-403 is a humanised monoclonal antibody that combats placental growth factor (PlGF), which is expressed in several types of cancer.
High expression of the PlGF receptor neuropilin 1 reportedly correlates with poor overall survival in medulloblastoma.
The collaboration will provide the companies access to the NMRTC's network of specialist clinicians, who will aim to accelerate the enrolment of patients in the trial.
Headquartered at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, the NMTRC is a collaboration of 25 US academic medical centres, teaching hospitals, and other entities
It aims to facilitate and conduct collaborative research activities and investigations of new treatments.
BioInvent CEO Michael Oredsson said: "The collaboration with NMTRC and its investigator network brings a wealth of experience in the paediatric oncology field into this project, and takes us one important step closer to potentially providing a new, targeted treatment option for a group of patients with a tremendous unmet medical need."
The collaboration with NMTRC is a last step in the preparative work by the two companies, before starting their joint Phase I/IIa clinical programme with TB-403.
Pre-clinical research conducted by the Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard in Boston, US, has shown that PlGF plays a vital role in the brain and that its expression is required for the growth and spread of medulloblastoma.
Oncurious executive chairman Patrik De Haes said: "This agreement with NMTRC will give Oncurious and BioInvent access to a significant number of centers with considerable expertise in treating children with medulloblastoma.
"The broad NMTRC clinical network will be a major positive as we set out to develop TB-403 as a novel improved treatment for children with medulloblastoma, neuroblastoma and Ewings sarcoma."