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8 January, 2021 - 12:53 By Tony Quested

F-star progresses potential treatment for toughest cancers

Cambridge based NASDAQ-quoted company F-star Therapeutics is making strides with technology that combats hard to treat cancers.

The business reveals that the first patient has been dosed in its Phase 1 trial evaluating FS222, a potentially best-in-class bispecific antibody targeting CD137 and PD-L1.

The first-in-human trial is designed evaluate the safety, tolerability and clinical activity of FS222 in adult patients diagnosed with advanced malignancies. 

The adaptive study design will allow for the early exploration of clinical activity of FS222 in a range of selected solid tumour types that will guide further targeted future clinical development.

Dr Louis Kayitalire, CMO of F-star said: “There remains a significant opportunity to provide treatments for patients with difficult to treat cancers, and FS222 may offer an option for patients with low levels of PD-L1 expression.

“Activation of an immune response in these tumour types creates the potential for a best-in-class therapy, both as a monotherapy and, eventually, in combination. 

“With three bispecifics now in the clinic we believe we are closer than ever to providing treatment options that many patients have been waiting for.”

FS222 targets critical tumoural immune-suppressing pathways via PD-L1 checkpoint blockade and has exhibited in preclinical studies important costimulatory effects through potent clustering and activation of CD137, which in turn, synergistically promote T cell activation and enhance cytotoxic T cell responses.

In preclinical models, engagement of PD-L1 and CD137 by FS222 induced T cell proliferation and cytokine production associated with significant tumour regression, significantly better than that observed with a combination of CD137 and PD-L1 targeting antibodies.

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