Antengene Corporation Limited (“Antengene” SEHK: 6996.HK), a leading innovative, commercial-stage global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to discovering, developing and commercializing first-in-class and/or best-in-class medicines for hematology and oncology, today announced that ATG-101, the company’s in-house developed novel PD-L1/4-1BB bispecific antibody, has been granted an Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. This ODD will help Antengene facilitate regulatory communication with the FDA, accelerate the clinical development and the future registration of ATG-101.
At present, no PD-L1/4-1BB bispecific antibody has been approved for the treatment of pancreatic cancer worldwide.
Orphan Drugs, also known as Rare Disease Drugs, refers to pharmaceutical products developed for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of rare diseases or conditions. Orphan Drug Designations by the U.S. FDA are meant to support the development of drug candidates that could potentially bring substantial therapeutic benefits to patients with rare diseases (a condition with a prevalence of less than 200,000 in the U.S.), and to provide incentives to the subsequent development, registration and commercialization to designated drugs. Those incentives include tax credit on expenditures incurred in clinical studies, a waiver of the New Drug Application (NDA) fee, and 7-year market exclusivity in the U.S. regardless of the patent status of the designated drug.
Pancreatic cancer is a highly malignant type of gastrointestinal cancer. According to the statistics by the World Health Organization (WHO), pancreatic cancer was ranked 13th and 7th globally by its incidence and mortality rates in 2012. In 2018, the U.S. reported over 55,000 newly- diagnosed pancreatic cancer cases and 44,330 related deaths. Whereas still defined as an orphan disease currently, it is projected that by 2030, pancreatic cancer will become the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths.
ATG-101 is a novel PD-L1/4-1BB bispecific antibody that was designed to block the binding of immunosuppressive PD-1/PD-L1 and conditionally induce 4-1BB stimulation, thus activating anti-tumor immune effectors, while delivering enhanced anti-tumor activity, with an improved safety profile. In preclinical studies, ATG-101 demonstrated significant anti-tumor activity in animal models of resistant tumors as well as those that had progressed on anti-PD-1/L1 treatment. Furthermore, ATG-101 has also shown an excellent safety profile in Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) toxicology studies. ATG-101 is the first PD-L1/4-1BB bispecific antibody entering clinical development in Australia and is currently being evaluated in clinical studies in Australia, China, and the U.S.
Dr. Bo Shan, Antengene’s Chief Scientific Officer, said, “We are very encouraged by this Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. FDA and are hopeful that ATG-101 will offer a novel therapeutic to patients with pancreatic cancer. As Antengene’s first in-house developed asset with global rights, ATG-101 has already entered clinical development in Australia, China, and the U.S. We will strive to accelerate the global clinical development of ATG-101 in efforts to provide a new treatment option to patients around the world.”