US FDA Approval of IND for CTLA-4 Antibody YH001 for the Treatment of Front-line Sarcoma Patients in Combination with Envafolimab
Biocytogen Pharmaceuticals (Beijing) Co., Ltd. ("Biocytogen") and TRACON Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: TCON), today jointly announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Investigational New Drug (IND) application for the initiation of a Phase 1/2 clinical study of YH001 in combination with envafolimab and doxorubicin for the treatment of sarcoma patients, including patients who have not received prior therapy.
The Phase 1/2 trial will assess the safety and efficacy of YH001 and envafolimab in patients with the rare sarcoma subtypes of alveolar soft part sarcoma and chondrosarcoma and assess the safety and efficacy of the combination of YH001, envafolimab and doxorubicin in the common sarcoma subtypes of leiomyosarcoma and dedifferentiated liposarcoma.
“YH001 was discovered using Biocytogen’s evidence-based in vivo drug efficacy screening platform and has demonstrated a favorable safety profile and promising anti-tumor activity in combination with a PD-1 antibody in an earlier phase 1 clinical study,” said Rong Chen, M.D., Ph.D., VP of Biocytogen, CEO and CMO of Eucure Biopharma. “As an antibody targeting the validated checkpoint CTLA-4, YH001 is expected to play a very important role in immune-oncology therapy. We are glad to learn that the combination therapy of YH001 + envafolimab and doxorubicin received IND approval by the FDA.”
“We are pleased to receive approval from the FDA to initiate our triplet combination therapy study in sarcoma, which includes our potentially best-in-class CTLA-4 antibody YH001 and the only subcutaneous checkpoint inhibitor approved anywhere in the world, envafolimab,” said Charles Theuer, M.D., Ph.D., TRACON’s Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to enrolling patients in this study and giving patients additional options for their sarcoma treatment.”
YH001 is an IgG1 antibody targeting CTLA-4 that was invented by Biocytogen, the parent company of Eucure Biopharma, and licensed by TRACON. YH001 has shown enhanced antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and complement dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) in vitro when compared with ipilimumab. In preclinical studies YH001 demonstrated superior T cell activation and superior tumor growth inhibition activity compared to ipilimumab as a single agent and when combined with a PD-(L)1 antibody in human transgenic mouse tumor models. In these models, single agent YH001 depleted regulatory T cells and increased CD8+ T cells in tumor tissue. YH001 has been dosed as a single agent in a Phase 1 trial in China (NCT04699929) and in combination with the PD-1 antibody toripalimab in a Phase 1 trial in Australia (NCT04357756).
About Eucure Biopharma
As a wholly owned subsidiary of Biocytogen, Eucure Biopharma undertakes the mission of clinical development for Biocytogen’s R&D pipelines. Relying on a strong clinical development team and extensive clinical development experience, Eucure Biopharma focuses on antibody drug therapy for oncology and other indications. The company has established a product pipeline for more than 10 targets, with two products in launched phase II multi-regional clinical trials (MRCT) and two in phase I. For details, please visit www.eucure.com.
Biocytogen Pharmaceuticals (Beijing) Co., Ltd. is a global biotechnology company that drives the research and development of novel antibody-based drugs with innovative technologies. Using its proprietary RenMabTM /RenLite® mice platforms for fully human monoclonal and bispecific antibody development, Biocytogen has integrated its in vivo drug efficacy screening platforms and strong clinical development expertise to streamline the entire drug development process. Biocytogen is undertaking a large-scale project to develop antibody drugs for more than 1000 targets, known as Project Integrum, and has entered ongoing collaborations with dozens of partners worldwide to produce a variety of antibody drugs. The company's pipeline includes 12 core products, among which two products are in phase II multi-regional clinical trials and two products are in phase I. Headquartered in Beijing, Biocytogen has branches in Haimen Jiangsu, Shanghai and Boston, USA. For more information, please visit www.biocytogen.com.cn.
TRACON is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company utilizing a cost-efficient, CRO-independent, product development platform to advance its pipeline of novel targeted cancer therapeutics and to partner with other life science companies. The Company’s clinical-stage pipeline includes: Envafolimab, a PD-L1 single-domain antibody given by rapid subcutaneous injection that is being studied in the pivotal ENVASARC trial for sarcoma; YH001, a potential best-in-class CTLA-4 antibody in Phase 1 development; TRC102, a Phase 2 small molecule drug candidate for the treatment of lung cancer; and TJ004309, a CD73 antibody in Phase 1 development for the treatment of advanced solid tumors. TRACON is actively seeking additional corporate partnerships through a profit-share or revenue-share partnership, or through franchising TRACON’s product development platform. TRACON believes it can serve as a solution for companies without clinical and commercial capabilities in the United States or who wish to become CRO-independent. To learn more about TRACON and its product pipeline, visit TRACON’s website at www.traconpharma.com.
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