Surface Oncology has dosed the first patient in its Phase I trial evaluating the safety and tolerability of SRF231 in patients with advanced solid tumours and hematologic malignancies.

In the trial SRF231 will be given in multiple ascending doses to the enrolled patients, with an aim to establish a recommended dose for further study.

“Targeting the tumour microenvironment has tremendous therapeutic potential.”

After completing the dose escalation component of the trial, Surface plans to analyse the safety and efficacy of SRF231 in cohorts of patients with specific types of cancer.

South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics Clinical Research associate director and trial investigator Amita Patnaik said: “Targeting the tumour microenvironment has tremendous therapeutic potential.

“Our team is eager to evaluate the role of macrophage activation through SRF231 to expand the opportunities for patients with cancer to benefit from immunotherapy.”

SRF231 is a human antibody that prevents the activity of CD47, a protein over-expressed on various types of cancer cells that prevents them from being eliminated by macrophages.

Findings from preclinical studies have showed that SRF231 has potent anti-tumour activity both preclinically in different tumour models and in combination with existing cancer modalities.

The studies have also demonstrated that SRF231 does not induce hemagglutination, an important potential safety advantage.

Development of SRF231 is supported by a strategic collaboration between Surface and Novartis, under which the former has the option to retain the development and commercial rights of the drug in the US.