Minomic launches first in-human trial of antibody

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Immuno-oncology company, Minomic International, has enrolled the first patient in its clinical trial of a radioactive antibody designed to seek out and destroy cancerous tumours.

The trial will examine the use of Minomic’s proprietary monoclonal antibody MIL-38 as a new tool to better detect and treat prostate and other cancers.

The trial will be run at Macquarie University’s Private Hospital located at Macquarie Park in Sydney.

A team of investigators led by Professors Howard Gurney and David Gillatt from Macquarie University Hospital, and Dr Kevin Ho-Shon of Macquarie Medical Imaging, will trial a chimeric version of Minomic’s MIL-38 antibody conjugated with the radioactive isotope 67Gallium (MILGa) to target tumours in patients with either prostate, bladder or pancreatic cancer.

According to the company, preclinical studies have shown that chimeric MIL-38 is able to target prostate, pancreatic and bladder cancer cells, and is well-tolerated and highly specific in mouse models of prostate cancer. These results have prompted this first-in-human trial to examine the safety of MILGa and its effectiveness in targeting tumours.

Minomic’s CEO, Dr Brad Walsh, said, “A chimeric version of the MIL-38 antibody ensures the patient’s immune system does not recognise and reject the antibody as foreign. A ‘payload’ — in this case the imaging isotope 67Gallium — is attached to the antibody, which seeks out and attacks its target, which is a protein (Glypican-1) found on the surface of certain cancer cells.”

Dr Walsh added, “The results from this trial will provide us with important safety data as well as telling us how well the antibody targets different tumour types. We will use this information to guide the future development of the drug.

“There are no approved antibody therapies for prostate or pancreatic cancer, whilst bladder cancer remains extremely expensive to treat. There is therefore the potential for major advances in the treatment of these cancers.”