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ARM Innovation Hub
30 September, 2021 - 22:18 By Tony Quested

Artios Pharma hails launch of landmark cancer trial

Artios Pharma has revealed another milestone on the road to improving treatments for cancer patients worldwide.

The Cambridge company is pioneering the development of novel small molecule therapeutics that target the DNA Damage Response process in order to treat patients suffering from a broad range of cancers.

It today reveals that it has dosed the first patient in its Phase 1/2a study with its polymerase theta inhibitor, ART4215. The study will enrol up to 206 patients and will be conducted at multiple oncology centres across the US and Europe. 

The Pol  project was originally in-licensed from Cancer Research UK in 2016 as part of the initial formation of Artios.

The open label, multi-centre study will assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and clinical activity of ART4215 administered orally as a monotherapy and in combination with other anticancer medicines in patients with advanced or metastatic solid tumours. 

The trial is led by principal investigators Erika P. Hamilton, director of the Breast Cancer and Gynecologic Cancer Research Program; Sarah Cannon Research Institute at Tennessee Oncology; and Timothy Yap, associate professor of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics and medical director of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Interim safety and tolerability data is expected in 2022.

Artios CEO Dr Niall Martin, said: “The initiation of our Phase 1/2a study is an important milestone for Artios and the DNA Damage Response field in general, launching the first evaluation of a specifically designed inhibitor in the clinic. 

“Pol is an important tumour-specific DDR target which we believe has the potential to exploit certain genetic vulnerabilities of cancer cells with defective DNA repair processes, while sparing healthy tissue.

“We have brought forward to the clinic a new and exciting inhibitor class where preclinical data shows the possible clinical utility that a potent, selective Pol inhibitor may have as a single agent in patients who have progressed on PARP inhibitors, in combination with PARP inhibition in PARPi naïve patients and in combination with DNA damaging therapies such as ionizing radiation and cytotoxic chemotherapy.

“The progress of ART4215 supports Artios’s approach to leverage our internal expertise in identifying promising new DDR targets, developing novel molecules, working with our collaborators at Cancer Research UK, and advancing these molecules into the clinic.

“It has been a very productive year at Artios with the execution of our $153 million Series C financing in July and now the expansion of our clinical pipeline, building on our ongoing clinical development of ART0380, an ATR inhibitor, and our collaborations with Merck KGaA and Novartis.”

Artios has raised $320m to date from investors and strategic partners; it is based at the Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge with an office in New York City.

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