Glenmark expects to obtain approval for the initiation of clinical studies with GBR1302 during this financial year
Glenmark Pharmaceuticals S.A. (GPSA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, announces the completion of Phase 1 supporting studies and the submission of a clinical trial application to the Paul-Ehrlich Institute in Germany with a novel clinical development candidate, GBR 1302. GBR 1302 is a HER2xCD3 bi-specific antibody based on Glenmark’s proprietary Bi-specific Engagement by Antibodies based on the T cell receptor (BEAT) platform. GBR 1302 is the first clinical development candidate based on the BEAT technology. Glenmark expects to obtain approval for the initiation of clinical studies with GBR1302 during this financial year.
GBR 1302 material for Phase 1 clinical trials was manufactured in Glenmark GMP production unit in Switzerland. HER2, also known as HER2/neu, or receptor tyrosine-protein kinase erbB-2, is the target of the multibillion dollar antibody cancer drugs trastuzumab, pertuzumab and trastuzumab emtansine and is implicated in breast cancer, ovarian, gastric, and certain uterine cancers.
Commenting on this milestone, Dr Michael Buschle, Chief Scientific Officer & President – Biologics, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said, “We have high expectations for GBR 1302. During the preclinical characterisation of the bi-specific antibody we have discovered that GBR 1302 does not only kill trastuzumab resistant cancer cells, but also very efficiently kills cancer cells with a weak expression of HER2 against which all current HER2 targeting antibodies are not effective.”
GBR 1302’s mode of action is different from current HER2 targeting antibodies. It redirects cytotoxic T cells through its CD3 binding arm onto HER2 expressing cancer cells and induces the killing of the cancer cells. Preclinically, the killing of cancer cells by GBR 1302 is more rapid, more complete and not expected to be subject to the same resistance escape mechanisms as therapies directed against HER2.
Preclinically, GBR 1302 has demonstrated superiority over current antibody therapies for breast cancer in two important areas:
GBR 1302 is able to kill cancer cells which are resistant to killing by Herceptin (trastuzumab).
GBR 1302 is able to kill cancer cells with an intermediate expression level of HER2 against which Herceptin (trastuzumab) is not clinically effective.
The same principles for targeting of HER2 positive, HER2 positive /Herceptin (trastuzumab) resistant metastatic breast cancers and breast cancers with intermediate expression of HER2 also apply to other HER2 overexpressing cancers including; ovarian, certain uterine cancers, pancreatic cancers and bladder cancer.
Herceptin (trastuzumab) is indicated for the treatment of HER2-overexpressing metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinomas.
If these preclinical properties translate into the clinic, GBR 1302 would constitute an innovative treatment for HER2 positive cancers that is potentially superior to the current established monoclonal antibody treatments, Herceptin (trastuzumab), Perjeta (pertuzumab) and Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine.
BEAT is Glenmark’s technology for production of bi-specific antibodies. Engaging two targets with one bi-specific antibody is a novel concept to design new therapeutics. For the past 20 years, bi-specific antibodies have been a challenge to the industry since most bi-specific formats developed thus far have stability and/or manufacturing issues. With the invention of the BEAT technology Glenmark’s scientists have now overcome these hurdles and GBR 1302 is the first drug candidate based on this breakthrough antibody engineering technology.