A clinical trial of a drug to treat advanced solid tumors has been approved by the National Medical Products Administration.
China-based Akeso Inc., made the announcement on Sunday (October 16) about a phase 1b/2 clinical trial of its in-house developed Ivonescimab (PD-1/VEGF bi-specific AK112) combined with Drebuxelimab (CD73, AK119).
AK112 is the first PD-1/VEGF bi-specific antibody that entered phase 3 clinical research. The PD-1 antibody and VEGF blocker combination therapy has shown strong efficacy in various tumor types.
AK119 targets the key node of CD73 through the adenosine pathway, and its inhibitor has broad therapeutic prospects for tumors that are quite sensitive to the adenosine pathway. Combination with immune checkpoint drugs such as AK112 can strengthen the synergistic effect of tumor therapy.
AK119 combined with AK112 has demonstrated well in vivo pharmacodynamic activity and safety in relevant pre-clinical studies. This unique combination therapy strategy will bring breakthroughs in tumor therapy.
Ivonescimab is a first-in-class and the first to enter phase III clinical trial PD-1/VEGF bi-specific antibody independently developed by the Company. Engineered with our unique Tetrabody technology, Ivonescimab blocks PD-1 binding to PD-L1 and PD-L2, and blocks VEGF binding to VEGF receptors.
PD-1 antibodies combined with VEGF-blocking agents have shown robust efficacy in various tumor types (including renal cell carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma).
Given the co-expression of VEGF and PD-1 in the tumor microenvironment, Ivonescimab, as a single agent to block these two targets, may block these two pathways more effectively and enhance the antitumor activity, as compared to combination therapy.
Currently, Akeso is conducting a phase 3 clinical trial of AK112 monotherapy versus Pembrolizumab monotherapy as the first-line treatment for NSCLC patients with positive PD-L1 expression.
Small cell lung cancer
In addition, a phase 3 clinical trial of AK112 plus chemotherapy versus chemotherapy in EGFR mutated advanced non-squamous NSCLC that failed in prior EGFR-TKI therapy is ongoing.
AK112 has started multiple clinical trials for various stages of treatment of indications, including non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer.
Drebuxelimab is a humanized monoclonal antibody self-developed by the company with a unique mechanism to activate B-cells to generate immune responses to tumor antigens and viruses. It can significantly inhibit the enzymatic activity of CD73 and block the production of immunosuppressive adenosine. No similar product has been successfully developed and commercialized in the global market.