UCLH recruits first UK participant in trial of new drug for solid cancers

UCLH has recruited the first UK participant to a trial of a new immunotherapy drug for patients with advanced solid cancers who no longer respond to existing treatments.

There is a strong unmet need for new therapies in advanced solid cancers. It is hoped the drug may prove effective for patients with certain types of advanced breast, endometrial and ovarian cancers.

The study, led at UCLH by consultant medical oncologist Dr Michael Flynn, is a first-in-human trial taking place around the world to measure and monitor the safety and dosing of the study drug called GEN1047.

GEN1047 is designed to stimulate part of our immune system called T cells, which kill cancer cells. It is also designed to bind itself to solid cancer cells which have a particular marker of disease on them: a molecule called B7H4. B7H4 is found on various solid cancers, including breast cancer, endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer. This dual action of the drug – stimulating T-cells and latching onto cancer cells expressing the B7H4 molecule – results in the activation of the T cells which attack and kill the solid cancer cells.

Dr Flynn, who is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre at UCLH, said: “There is an urgent need for new treatments for solid cancers and even to bring these innovative treatments earlier in a patient’s cancer journey. It is exciting to have recruited the first patient in the UK to this study, and we hope she and others will derive benefit from this approach.”

The patient joined the trial at the NIHR UCLH Clinical Research Facility which supports the delivery of early phase clinical trials across different clinical specialties. UCLH is one of four sites in the UK running the study and one of 50 sites globally. The study aims to recruit up to 400 patients.

The sponsor of the study is Genmab, a Danish biotechnology company.

For more information, email  uclh.referrals.clinicalresearchfacility@nhs.net