Cancer Research UK (CRUK) has signed a collaboration agreement with Teon Therapeutics to advance early clinical development of the latter’s new cancer drug.
The focus of the agreement is Teon’s potentially first-in-class small molecule adenosine A2B receptor antagonist, TT-702.
Under the terms of the agreement, CRUK will sponsor the first-in-human Phase I/II clinical development of TT-702. This will be led by a team at The Institute of Cancer Research, London and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.
The Centre for Drug Development, Teon and a team of clinical investigators led by Professor Johann de Bono are currently preparing to launch the early clinical trial in the second half of 2021.
“We are delighted to be working with Teon to advance TT-702 into human trials, and the drug makes an exciting addition to our growing portfolio of innovative anti-cancer agents,” said Nigel Blackburn, director of drug development, CRUK.
“Finding new ways to target difficult-to-treat cancers remains a research priority for Cancer Research UK, and despite the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are continuing to leverage new partnerships like Teon, so we can bring potentially life-saving treatments closer to patients who need them,” he added.
TT-702 is an adenosine receptor that specifically targets the A2B receptor, which is overexpressed on certain types of tumour cells and immune cells.
In the tumour microenvironment, high levels of adenosine activate the A2B receptor, which in turn triggers tumour cell growth and the suppression of T-cells, which allows cancer cells to avoid immune detection.
TT-702 is designed to prevent the A2B receptor from being activated by high levels of adenosine, which prevents cancer cell growth and bolsters the anti-tumour immune response.
The early-stage study will test the safety and efficacy of TT-702 in multiple cancer indications, including hard-to-treat prostate cancer and triple-negative breast cancer.
The drug will be evaluated as both a monotherapy and in combination with anti-PD-1 immunotherapy or hormonal therapy.