August 4, 2023/Innovations

New Cancer Treatment Being Developed by Abcon Therapeutics for Incurable Lymphoma will Receive Scientific Support from a National Drug Discovery and Development Program

An innovative new treatment for T-cell lymphoma (TCL) is one step closer to reaching clinical trials.

CCC Tadiello 3613010 Sickle cell patient with Dr. Hanna 02-09-23

Abcon Therapeutics, a Cleveland Clinic portfolio company, has developed a potential innovative treatment for T-cell lymphoma (TCL) that is one step closer to reaching clinical trials. The treatment attacks tumor cells using antibody therapies while sparing healthy cells.

Abcon Therapeutics has submitted an application for assistance in conducting critical preclinical IND-enabling toxicology studies, as well as preclinical and clinical-grade manufacturing of the company’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC). The application was accepted into the National Institute of Health’s National Cancer Institute (NCI), Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD), Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) Program. This could position the putative therapeutic agent to be ready for clinical trials in two to three years.

Announcement from Abcon Therapeutics

An innovative new treatment for T-cell lymphoma (TCL) is one step closer to reaching clinical trials. The potential treatment, developed by Abcon Therapeutics, a Cleveland Clinic portfolio company, uses antibody therapies to attack tumor cells while sparing healthy cells.

The application from Abcon Therapeutics for assistance in conducting critical preclinical IND-enabling toxicology studies as well as preclinical and clinical-grade manufacturing of the company’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) was favorably reviewed and accepted into the National Institute of Health’s National Cancer Institute (NCI), Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis (DCTD), Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) Program. Should the initial “trust-but-verify” experiments recapitulate Abcon Therapeutics data, scientists in the Biopharmaceutical Development Program (BDP) at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, a federal national laboratory sponsored by the NCI and currently operated by Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., will develop the scale-up and cGMP manufacturing processes to support IND-enabling toxicology studies and ultimately a Phase I clinical trial.

This could position the putative therapeutic agent to be ready for clinical trials in two to three years, says Tony Giordano, PhD, Abcon’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Working with NExT helps us propel this life-saving therapy past common, but costly, challenges to bring research discoveries to patients more quickly,” says Dr. Giordano. “This approach has the potential to meet critical unmet needs.”

“TCL is an aggressive form of blood cancer. But current therapies are not very effective and have severe side effects,” says Feng Lin, PhD, Professor at the Lerner Research Institute, who is also the founder and Chief Scientific Officer for Abcon Therapeutics.

Dr. Lin worked with Cleveland Clinic pathologists and found a receptor present on the outside of the tumor cells. The antibody targeting this receptor delivers a toxin directly to the cancerous cell, thereby selectively killing them while sparing healthy cells.

“The antibodies are working with the immune system in a way that avoids the side effects many TCL patients experience during treatment,” says Juliana Woda, PhD, senior director for Technology Development in Cleveland Clinic Innovations. “These are the kinds of treatments that can change lives.”

The NExT Program was the “right home” for the next stage of the project, Dr. Lin says, adding that developing the therapeutic with the NCI ensures that it meets federal standards and follows best practices each step of the way.

Abcon was also recently awarded two NIH Small Business Technology Transfer Grants in 2022, seed funding designed to support technological innovation and meet federal research needs.

See more about Abcon’s journey from bench to bedside on Cleveland Clinic’s Innovations website.

Abcon Therapeutics and Cleveland Clinic Innovations

Abcon Therapeutics is one of more than 40 active portfolio companies developed in partnership with Cleveland Clinic Innovations, with the mission to make the latest scientific discoveries and inventions available to patients around the world. Cleveland Clinic Innovations business experts support companies throughout their life cycle, from formation, management and governance to funding and potential acquisition.

Startup companies can access our state-of-the-art technology Incubator, as well as the Cleveland Clinic and Lerner Research Institute’s vast resources for research and testing.

Visit Cleveland Clinic Innovations online to see more Cleveland Clinic Innovations success stories.

SOURCE Abcon Therapeutics

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