Minomic International has signed an agreement to launch the first human trial of its novel monoclonal antibody technology as an imaging agent to detect prostate, pancreatic and bladder cancers.
The company announced it has signed a Heads of Agreement with Macquarie University Hospital (MUH) and Macquarie Medical Imaging (MMI) to examine the use of its proprietary MIL-38 monoclonal antibody as a new tool to enable better detection and targeted treatment of prostate and other cancers.
This first-in-human study will begin recruiting the first of 12 patients in the first quarter of 2016, with the study expected to run during the year.
Under study protocols, a team of investigators led by Professors Howard Gurney and David Gillatt from MUH and Dr Kevin Ho-Shon of MMI, will examine a chimeric version of Minomic’s MIL-38 antibody conjugated with Gallium to image cancer metastases following ethics approval.
Investigators will evaluate the technology for safety, sensitivity and specificity of MILGa in these patients.
Professor David Gillatt said: “Macquarie University is committed to bringing cutting-edge medicine to patients and we see this trial as the first step to delivering proof-of-concept treatments to patients with life threatening diseases.”
Minomic CEO Dr Brad Walsh said signing the agreement was a key milestone for the company as it prepared to further exploit the potential of its antibody technology.
“We have been focused to date on commercialising our lead prostate cancer diagnostic technology known as MiCheck, but have consistently acknowledged the potential for our antibody to be used for imaging and therapeutic purposes,” he said.
“We have had highly encouraging results in our preclinical animal studies. By formulating a chimeric version of the MIL-38 antibody, we are able to ensure a patient’s own immune system does not recognise our antibody as foreign. Our antibody will then seek out the target, which is a protein found on cancer cells. We will attach a payload to our antibody – either an existing drug or radiotherapy – so that our technology can be used to directly deliver the appropriate therapy to the tumour cell target for maximum impact. Following successful targeting to tumour metastases in this study the company intends to undertake a therapeutic trial.”