Telix Pharmaceuticals and Atlab Pharma are working together to develop and possibly market huJ591, a monoclonal antibody to be used in radioimmunotherapy in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).
According to the agreement, Telix will financially support the production and clinical development of huJ591, an anti-PSMA antibody linked to radioactive lutetium-177 (Lu-177) and astatine-211 (At-211). It also has exclusive options to acquire Atlab.
The partners are planning a Phase 2b trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the radioactive huJ591 antibody in treating patients with metastatic prostate cancer, both those receiving standard chemotherapy and those who are not.
“Radioimmunotherapy is finally starting to hit its stride and garner the interest it deserves,” Jean-François Chatal, Atlab’s chief medical adviser and co-founder, said in a news release. “In the clinic, we have seen targeted radionuclide therapy deliver impressive treatment responses, even in late stage patients. We are especially keen to use programs like 177Lu-huJ591 in conjunction with other immuno-oncology agents that have generally demonstrated lackluster performance in the mCRPC setting.”
The huJ591 antibody was originally created by Neil Bander, with the Weill Cornell Graduate School of Medical Sciences, and targets a protein called prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA).
PSMA is usually found at low levels in a variety of healthy tissues, such as those of the prostate epithelium, kidney, pancreas, and in a group of brain cells called astrocytes. However, in prostate cancer patients, particularly those with metastatic castration-resistant disease, PSMA levels are considerably high in prostate tissue.
mCRPC is an advanced prostate cancer that no longer responds to hormone therapy and continues to progress, leading to metastasis and damage to other organs.
“PSMA targeting radiopharmaceuticals have shown great promise in both the diagnostic and therapeutic setting,” said Chris Behrenbruch, Telix’s CEO. “The 177Lu-huJ591 program is the most clinically advanced PSMA program and has extensive patient experience, including in conjunction with anti-androgens and chemotherapy. We are very pleased to be working with Atlab to add this very promising program to Telix’s development pipeline.”