Avalon GloboCare Corp (NASDAQ:AVCO) said its planned acquisition target, SenlangBio, has initiated a first-in-human clinical trial evaluating anti-EphA2 chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy for recurrent glioblastoma.
Glioblastoma is the most common type of primary brain tumor -- a devastating and aggressive cancer with few treatment options.
Avalon said that SenlangBio’s anti-EphA2 CAR-T is a first-in-class cellular therapy and to the best of its knowledge, the first-ever EphA2-targeted CAR-T with reported clinical trial data.
Erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular receptor tyrosine kinase class A2 (EphA2) is a tumor-associated antigen expressed on glioblastoma cells but not on normal cells of the brain. The anti-EphA2 CAR-T therapy is designed to attack the brain cancer while preserving healthy brain cells.
Avalon said approved CAR-T therapies have been successful for patients with difficult-to-treat CD19-positive leukemias and lymphomas. However, prior attempts of treating solid tumor patients with CAR-T therapies have thus far not been shown to be effective.
SenlangBio is developing next-generation CAR-T therapies for solid tumors by focusing on strategic cancer cell targets such as EphA2 that are specific to cancer cells.
Avalon said three patients have received the starting dose of anti-EphA2 CAR-T in the dose-escalation trial. Preliminary clinical trial results were recently published in the June 2021 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Oncology.
To date, the company said the therapy has been well-tolerated and the CAR T-cells have demonstrated persistent activity over four weeks after initial dosing in patients.
Prior to initiation of the clinical trial, Avalon said SenlangBio successfully completed pre-clinical feasibility testing of its anti-EphA2 CAR-T and obtained Institution Review Board (IRB) approval from Xuanwu Hospital, the teaching hospital of Capital Medical University, Beijing, where the trial is being conducted.
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