First patient dosed in Oxford BioTherapeutics’ trial for head and neck cancer drug

By Isabel Cameron

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Cancer Oncology Clinical trial

Oncology company Oxford BioTherapeutics has announced that the first patient has been dosed in a phase 1b trial investigating its lead candidate OBT076, in patients with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC) of the head and neck.

OBT076, is an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) with a potential dual mechanism of action in treating patients with ACC, a rare, aggressive type of cancer which represents 2% of head and neck cancers and about 20% of salivary gland malignancies.

Christian Rohlff, CEO of Oxford BioTherapeutics, said: “The start of this phase 1b trial investigating our lead asset OBT076 in Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC) is a major milestone for OBT. We look forward to demonstrating the potential value of OBT076, with the hope to provide meaningful benefit for ACC patients.

"Additionally, it will contribute to the expanding pool of data affirming the potential of OBT076, both as an ADC monotherapy and as immune primer to boost the effectiveness of CPI immunotherapies, particularly in patients with advanced and/or refractory tumors and those with low PD-L1 expression.”

OBT076 targets the CD205 receptor on tumor cells as well as certain immune suppressive cells in high-risk cancer patients. The CD205 receptor is highly overexpressed in solid and liquid tumors with high unmet need, including gastric, lung and ovarian cancer.

This phase 1b trial is being sponsored by Groupe d'Oncologie Radiothérapie Tête Et Cou (GORTEC), an established European oncology and radiotherapy consortium specializing in clinical and laboratory research specifically for the benefit of head and neck cancer patients.

Led by Professor Jean Bourhis, chief of radiation oncology at Lausanne University Hospital and chairman of GORTEC, the trial will be carried out in patients with recurrent or metastatic ACC of the head and neck from an anticipated 15 study sites across the GORTEC network in France, Belgium and Switzerland.

It will investigate OBT076 both as a monotherapy and in combination with balstilimab, a PD-1 blocking antibody, accessed through a clinical collaboration agreement from Agenus.

Prof Bourhis commented: “Recurrent or metastatic adenoid cystic carcinoma (ACC) is an orphan disease since there is no established and validated treatment that could significantly improve the patients’ outcome. With such an unmet clinical need, OBT076 is opening new avenues and creating a major interest among GORTEC investigators since it is targeting the CD205 protein, which is overexpressed in a large proportion of ACCs, a much higher proportion compared to other types of solid tumors.”

OBT076 is also currently being evaluated in phase 1 clinical trials in the US and Europe across several advanced solid tumor indications, including gastric, endometrial, ovarian and non-small cell lung (NSCLC) cancer.  

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