Immune-oncology firm Biotecnol and Cancer Research UK have entered a collaboration agreement to evaluate Tb535H in clinical trials to treat patients suffering from solid tumours.

Developed using the firm’s antibody development platform called Trisoma, Tb535H is an investigational immuno-oncology therapy designed to target the 5T4/WAIF1 tumour antigen protein that is believed to aid spread of the cancer.

Discovered by scientists at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, the WAIF1 antigen is considered as an important target in various types of cancer.

Tb535H stimulates T-cells of the patient’s immune system to attack and fight against the tumours.

During the trial, the organisations intend to primarily focus on treatment of cancers that have a high unmet need. 

Cancer Research UK drug development director Dr Nigel Blackburn said: “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.

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"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."

“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.”

Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development will evaluate Tb535H in a Phase I clinical trial funded by Biotecnol, in return for the latter’s shareholdings.

Biotecnol CEO Pedro de Noronha Pissarra said: “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.”

Initially, Tb535H will be assessed for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), renal cell carcinoma, and thoracic cancers such as mesothelioma and small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC).

Cancer Research UK will support the early clinical development of the investigational candidate.