Cancer Research UK and Teon Therapeutics announce first patient dosed in clinical trial for hard-to-treat solid cancers
- Published date:
- March 8 2022
Cancer Research UK and Teon Therapeutics announce that the first patient has been successfully dosed in their Phase I/II trial of Teon’s first-in-class oral, once-daily dosed adenosine receptor antagonist, TT-702, for the treatment of patients with a range of difficult-to-treat cancers.
Cancer Research UK, and Teon Therapeutics (Teon) today (8 March, 2022) announce that the first patient has been successfully dosed in their Phase I/II trial of Teon’s first-in-class oral, once-daily dosed adenosine receptor antagonist, TT-702, for the treatment of patients with a range of difficult-to-treat cancers.
Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives. Teon is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company targeting metabolic signalling pathways and pioneering the development of G-Protein Coupled Receptor (GPCR) immuno-oncology therapies for difficult-to-treat cancers.
The Phase I/II clinical trial is being sponsored and conducted by Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development and led by Chief Investigator Johann De Bono, MD, PhD, Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust. The trial is currently open to recruitment at The Royal Marsden and additional sites are anticipated to open shortly.
People with hard-to-treat solid tumours that have advanced despite intensive interventions have limited treatment options open to them. New treatments are desperately needed for this group of patients.
The first group of patients with a range of advanced cancers will receive increasing doses of TT-702 in order to define the safety and tolerability of the drug and to determine the maximum dose of TT-702 that can safely be given to patients. The first of these patients has safely completed their first cycle of treatment and the decision has been made to increase the dose of TT-702 in the next patient. Subsequent groups of patients will then be treated with TT-702 in combination with PD-1 immunotherapy or hormonal therapy to determine whether TT-702 can improve the effects of these therapies.
TT-702 is the first of Teon’s pipeline of small molecules that target metabolic signalling pathways to enter the clinic. TT-702 is an adenosine receptor antagonist and specifically targets the A2B receptor, which is over expressed on several types of tumour cells and immune cells. Elevated levels of adenosine in the tumour microenvironment* activate the A2B receptor, triggering tumour cells to grow and suppress T-cells, allowing the cancer cells to avoid immune detection. TT-702 prevents the A2B receptor from being activated by high levels of adenosine, which may prevent cancer cell growth and enhances the anti-tumour immune response.
Iain Foulkes, Executive Director of Research and Innovation at Cancer Research UK, said: “It is absolutely crucial that we maintain our laser-like focus on finding new and effective treatments for difficult-to-treat cancers, which is why we are so delighted that we have successfully advanced TT-702 into human trials with Teon, safely dosing the first patient, with the second soon to follow."
Serge Messerlian, CEO of Teon Therapeutics, said: “Teon is proud to partner with CRUK as we pursue clinical development of TT-702, a treatment with the potential to greatly improve oncology care. As a daily, oral A2B antagonist treatment, TT-702 is unique and demonstrates our team’s commitment to leveraging novel science to benefit people, families, and communities. The outstanding team at CRUK are helping to bring this important potential therapy to patients.”
Professor Johann De Bono, Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, and Consultant Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be taking this new anti-cancer drug, TT-702, into clinical trials. The drug works by fighting cancer’s ‘cloaking’ strategy and exposing it to the immune system so it can be destroyed. We will be testing TT-702 in several different cancer types to determine the best dose that can safely be given to patients.”
Notes to editors
For Cancer Research UK media enquiries contact Ellie Bennett in the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 3469 5370 or, out of hours, on 020 3469 8301.
For Teon media inquiries contact Shani Lewis, LaVoieHealthScience, [email protected], 609-516-5761
*The immunosuppressive state of the TME (tumour microenvironment) is regulated by the metabolic activity of cancer cells. Rapidly proliferating cancer cells require high levels of energy and therefore metabolic reprogramming has emerged as a key feature for cancer survival under hypoxia, stress, and limited nutrient availability. Metabolic reprogramming generates large number of metabolites that not only alter the TME, adversely affect the survival and function of immune cells but also directly stimulate cancer cell proliferation.
About Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development
Cancer Research UK has an impressive record of developing novel treatments for cancer. The Cancer Research UK Centre for Drug Development has been pioneering the development of new cancer treatments for 25 years, taking over 140 potential new anti-cancer agents into clinical trials in patients. It currently has a portfolio of 15 new anti-cancer agents in preclinical development, Phase I or early Phase II clinical trials. Six of these new agents have made it to market including temozolomide for brain cancer, abiraterone for prostate cancer and rucaparib for ovarian cancer. Two other drugs are in late development Phase III trials.
About Cancer Research UK
- Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
- Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
- Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every donation made.
- Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.
- Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that by 2034, 3 in 4 people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years.
- Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors, and nurses.
- Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About Teon Therapeutics
Teon Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients by developing a focused portfolio of oral, GPCR targeted small molecules that inhibit immunosuppressive and cancer-promoting signaling pathways in difficult-to-treat cancers. Teon’s rich pipeline includes adenosine pathway inhibitors as well as a small molecule immune checkpoint inhibitor. Teon initiated a Phase1/2 trial with its lead program, TT-702, an A2B receptor-specific antagonist, in 2021. The highly accomplished scientific leadership team are experts in adenosine and GPCR therapeutic design and development and were primary inventors of Lexiscan®, the only FDA-approved selective adenosine therapeutic. Teon completed its $30M Series A financing round in February 2021. For more information about Teon Therapeutics, please visit: www.teontherapeutics.com.