NextPoint Therapeutics has dosed the first subject in a Phase I clinical trial of its therapeutic agent, NPX887, for the treatment of solid tumours.

The open-label, first-in-human, multicentre Phase Ia/Ib study includes both dose escalation and expansion stages.

It aims to assess the pharmacokinetics, safety, immunogenicity, efficacy, safety, and biomarker-based selection of NPX887 for various solid tumour malignancies that express the human endogenous retrovirus H long terminal repeat-associating protein 2 (HHLA2/B7-H7) antigen.

Among the cancers being targeted are non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), renal cell carcinoma (RCC), colorectal carcinoma (CRC), and other types that express HHLA2/B7-H7.

A fully human monoclonal antibody, NPX887 acts on the immune checkpoint and tumour antigen HHLA2 (B7-H7), which is highly expressed in various cancer types.

By hindering the interaction between KIR3DL3 and HHLA2, NPX887 is expected to stop immune escape in solid tumours and enhance T and NK cell antitumor activity within the tumour microenvironment.

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Alongside NPX887, the company is also advancing its clinical programme NPX267 to fully assess the therapeutic potential of the HHLA2/B7-H7 axis.

NextPoint Therapeutics chief medical officer Leena Gandhi said: “The launch of NPX887, our second clinical program targeting the HHLA2/B7-H7 axis, marks an important step in broadening our therapeutic targeting of this novel pathway to reactivate the immune system to fight cancer.

“Together with NPX267, our first clinical programme targeting the KIR3DL3 receptor for HHLA2, we are well-positioned to interrogate how best to exploit this pathway to effectively treat patients whose tumours express HHLA2 as an independent checkpoint of tumour-immune response from PD-L1.

“Both NPX267 and NPX887 have the potential for monotherapy benefit in selected patient populations.”

During this month, NextPoint announced a significant financial milestone, with the closing of a $42.5m extension to its Series B financing round. This brought the total funds raised in Series B financing to $122.5m.

In August last year, the company announced the dosing of the first subject with NPX267 in a trial to treat patients with solid tumours.