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ABL Bio to initiate early-stage clinical trials for bispecific antibody

PUBLISHED : September 01, 2017 - 14:48

UPDATED : September 01, 2017 - 14:48

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[THE INVESTOR] Korea’s biotechnology startup ABL Bio is set to enter phase 1 clinical trials on its bispecific antibody for the treatment of solid tumors, according to the company on Aug. 31.

The drug candidate NOV1501 is designed to target vascular endothelial growth factor, a signaling protein that promotes the growth of new blood vessels, and inhibit Delta-like Ligand 4 in the Notch signaling pathway.

As the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety granted approval for clinical studies on NOV1501 on Aug. 29, the company will initiate the program on 63 patients with solid tumor for 22 months at Samsung Seoul Hospital.

Bispecific antibodies are expected to be the cornerstone of the next generation of immuno-oncology product with global drug makers like OncoMed Pharmaceuticals and AbbVie vying to bring their med for colorectal and ovarian cancer.

As the two companies are ahead of phase 1b trials, which is a year earlier than ABL Bio, the Korean biotech firm is known to have taken the strands toward gastric cancer to avoid competition with them.

Last year, ABL Bio signed a deal with National OncoVenture, a Korean government funded oncology drug development program, to jointly develop NOV1501. Under the deal, the two parties agreed to divide revenues from any technology transfer or drug sales.

By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)

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