Cancer Research UK and Cancer Research Technology (CRT) have reached agreement with Monopar Therapeutics LLC, an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on developing orphan oncology compounds*, to take forward Monopar’s experimental antibody treatment HuATN-658 into clinical trials in cancer patients with advanced solid tumours.
HuATN-658 is an antibody that targets the cell surface protein uPAR, which is found in high levels in some of the most deadly cancers.
Under the agreement, Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development (CDD) will finance and complete preclinical development of HuATN-658 and conduct a Phase 1 clinical trial in cancer patients. Although drug efficacy will be monitored, the trial’s main objective will be to evaluate the safety of the antibody.
The trial will be managed and run by the CDD through the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) network, a UK-wide initiative funded by Cancer Research UK and the UK’s four Health Departments.
Upon completion of the clinical trial, Monopar has the right to acquire the clinical trial data. If Monopar declines the option, CRT may continue the development and commercialisation of HuATN-658 in exchange for a share to Monopar of any future revenues from the drug.
Dr Chandler D. Robinson, co-founder and CEO of Monopar Therapeutics, said: “While these are still the early days of the company, we have created a very strong team and development strategy.
“HuATN-658, our lead compound, was discovered by our chief scientific officer, Dr Andrew Mazar, one of the world’s experts on the uPAR pathway.
“The development partnership with Cancer Research UK allows Monopar to leverage a strong platform for the clinical advancement of this compound as it brings long established clinical, regulatory, and manufacturing expertise and resources that would be difficult for an emerging company to amass quickly.”
Dr Nigel Blackburn, Cancer Research UK’s director of drug development, said, “We’re excited to be working with Monopar Therapeutics to take this promising new treatment a step further on its journey towards the clinic. The collaboration forms part of our Clinical Development Partnerships scheme, which aims to help progress promising treatments from drug company pipelines and bring them into early phase trials sooner. Thanks to this, six new treatments are now in clinical trials that may otherwise never have moved beyond the lab.”
Cancer Research UK\CRT: firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 203 469 8300. For out of hours duty press officer contact: +44 (0) 7050 264 059.
Monopar Therapeutics: Janine McCargo email@example.com Tiberend Strategic Advisors (US): +01 646 605 5150