ImmuneOncia Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Yuhan Corp., said Tuesday that it has completed phase 1 clinical trial for IMC-001, a third generation immunological anti-cancer drug, in Korea.
IMC-001 is an immune anticancer drug that targets programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), a protein that resides on the surface of cancer cells. It is a third-generation anticancer drug that treats cancer by using immune cells in the human body to attack cancer cells.
It is the first time a Korean company received clinical approval for a PD-L1 drug candidate from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.
ImmuneOncia conducted the phase 1 clinical trials at Seoul National University Hospital and Samsung Medical Center for patients with metastatic and local advanced solid tumors. The company also decided to do the phase 2 dose earlier than initially planned, and observed no capacity-limiting adverse events in all dose groups tested.
ImmuneOncia plans to present the details of the trial at a conference later.
The company, a joint venture established in 2016 between Yuhan and the U.S. pharmaceutical firm Sorrento Therapeutics, aims to develop and commercialize immune-checkpoint monoclonal antibodies to treat blood cancer and solid cancer. It is promoting clinical development with the aim of making IMC-001 as the first-to-market treatment for rare types of cancer.
“Based on the results of Phase I clinical trials, we have confirmed the efficacy of IMC-001 as a treatment for rare cancer,” ImmuneOncia CEO Song Yun-jeong said. “We plan to conduct phase II clinical trials in the middle of this year.”
The company plans to research and develop IMC-001 and other new drug candidates in cooperation with various organizations this year, Song added.