Pharma Focus Asia

Noxxon Pharma announces collaboration with National Center for Tumor Diseases in Heidelberg

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

NOXXON Pharma N.V., a biotechnology company whose core focus is on improving cancer treatment by targeting the tumor microenvironment, today announced the signing of an agreement with the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) in Heidelberg under which the NCT will conduct a trial evaluating NOXXON’s lead product candidate NOX-A12 in combination with Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) in metastatic pancreatic and colorectal cancer. In some preclinical studies, NOX-A12 has shown an ability to make the immediate area surrounding a model tumor, the socalled tumor microenvironment, more accessible to the immune system. The ability of many tumors to use the tumor microenvironment to hide from the immune system is believed to contribute to the insensitivity of some tumors towards checkpoint inhibitors, such as Keytruda®.

The NCT is a leading center for cancer research and treatment, located in Heidelberg, Germany. It was jointly founded by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg University Hospital, Medical Faculty Heidelberg and German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe) in 2004 to conduct interdisciplinary research for preventing and treating cancer to ultimately benefit patients.

The NCT investigators leading the clinical trial include Prof. Dr. Dirk Jäger, Managing Director, head of the clinical and tumor immunology research groups, and Dr. Niels Halama, Group Leader, both recognized leaders in clinical cancer research with significant experience in studying the tumor microenvironment in a clinical setting. Throughout his career, Prof. Dr. Jäger has focused on tumor and immunology as well as the interdisciplinary connections between both fields, both scientifically and clinically.

NOXXON’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Jarl Ulf Jungnelius, commented: “Dr. Jäger and Dr. Halama are experts in the treatment of metastatic cancer patients as well as the tumor microenvironment. We are extremely pleased that they will be collaborating with NOXXON on this groundbreaking study.”

Prof. Dr. Jäger, Managing Director of the NCT Heidelberg, commented: “This trial will enable us to explore the potential of NOX-A12 in combination with Keytruda® to benefit patients with few viable treatment options. Importantly, the trial will help us to better understand the ability of NOX-A12 to modify the tumor microenvironment and make it more accessible to the immune system to facilitate tumor destruction.”

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