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Tumor Regression with New Antibody-Drug Conjugate

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Iksuda Therapeutics (Iksuda), a developer of next generation Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs), has announced the first data on its lead ADC, IKS01. IKS01, an ADC targeting the folate receptor, has shown significant anti-tumor efficacy in pre-clinical models of ovarian and lung tumors, each of which included a broad range of folate-receptor alpha (FRA) expression. The data was presented at ESMO Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.

ADCs allow for the targeted delivery of a potent cytotoxic payload to tumors, resulting in selective killing with increased efficacy and less off-target toxicity than standard-of-care chemotherapies. Frequent over-expression of FRA in ovarian and non-small-cell lung cancer (accounting for 80% of lung cancer cases) and relative lack of expression in normal tissue, make it an attractive therapeutic target. However, anti-tumor activity is generally limited to patients whose tumors express high levels of FRA.

IKS01 is an ADC comprised of an FRA-targeting antibody conjugated via Iksuda’s PermaLink® technology to Femtogenix’s highly potent FGX2-62 payload. IKS01 is target specific and these new data confirm that it is highly effective in causing tumor regression in FRA-expressing models at doses that are well-tolerated, significantly more active than a benchmark ADC and caused complete regressions in low/moderate FRA-expressing models.

The IKS01 data is a major advancement of Iksuda’s ADC drug pipeline, from which it aims to progress multiple candidates towards first clinical studies in 2020.

Dave Simpson PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Iksuda Therapeutics, said: “Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly gynaecological cancers and lung cancer remains a leading cause of cancer-related death. The IKS01 data highlight the potential impact of our ADC pipeline by targeting difficult-to-treat tumors and advancing current standard of care.”