NANOBIOTIX (Euronext: NANO – ISIN: FR0011341205), a late clinical-stage nanomedicine company pioneering new approaches to the treatment of cancer, today announced that it will cooperate with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston TX, to work on NBTXR3, Nanobiotix’s lead product. NBTXR3 is a first-in-class product designed to destroy, when activated by radiotherapy, tumors and metastasis through physical cell death and to induce immunogenic cell death leading to specific activation of the immune system.
This project with MD Anderson, one of the world’s leading oncological research centers, will provide an unparalleled ability to develop pre-clinical data using NBTXR3 activated by radiotherapy plus anti-PD1 Nivolumab (murine version of Opdivo(TM)).
Dr. Elsa Borghi, CMO, said: “The main objective of this collaboration is to analyze the micro environment of the tumors treated with NBTXR3 activated by radiotherapy, in order to increase and optimize the immune response.”
Dr. James Welsh, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Radiation Oncology, will be the Principal Investigator and lead the research program. The project between MD Anderson and Nanobiotix will take place over the course of two years and will evaluate the use of NBTXR3 activated by radiotherapy plus anti-PD1 Nivolumab (murine version of Opdivo(TM)), provided by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) in lung cancer models (in vitro and in vivo). Lung cancer is one of the most common cancer worldwide, accounting for 1.69 million deaths annually (WHO 2015).
The joint program will focus on 3 aims, leading to the maximization of NBTXR3 potential benefits in triggering an immune response:
Evaluate the abscopal response through the combination of NBTXR3 plus an anti-PD1 antibody and radiation therapy in specific and resistent murine lung cancer models, in order to measure NBTXR3’s potential to control metastatic disease.
Evaluate if NBTXR3 can further improve T cell activation for standard radiotherapy fractions compared to SBRT, notably by determining the STING activation in vitro in cancer cells with and without NBTXR3.
Continue the characterization of the different mechanisms and types of cell death induced by NBTXR3 activated by radiation.
The joint program will also further explore the potential future use of NBTXR3 in immuno-oncology with checkpoint inhibitors, as well as its potential to control metastatic disease.
As announced in December 26, 2017, the Company has received from the Food and Drug Administration the approval of its Investigational New Drug (IND) application and should launch its first clinical trial combining NBTXR3 with immune checkpoint inhibitors in the U.S. in Q2 2018. This will be a multi-arm trial targeting a sub-population of advanced lung cancer patients and head and neck cancer patients.
NBTXR3 positioning in IO
Many IO combination strategies focus on ‘priming’ the tumor, which is now becoming a prerequisite of turning a “cold” tumor into a “hot” tumor.
Compared to other modalities that could be used for priming the tumor, NBTXR3 could have a number of advantages: the physical and universal mode of action that could be used widely across oncology, a one-time local injection and good fit within existing medical practice already used as a basis for cancer treatment, as well as a very good chronic safety profile and well-established manufacturing process.
Published preclinical and clinical data indicate that NBTXR3 could play a key role in oncology and could become a backbone in immuno-oncology.
Nanobiotix’s immuno-oncology combination program opens the door to new developments, potential new indications, and important value creation opportunities.