Nanobiotix SA (EPA:NANO) has reported significant advances in turning tumours ‘hot’ in the first in-body use of its pioneering cancer treatment.
The group used its treatment, NBTXR3, on 26 Soft Tissue Sarcoma patients, with the results indicating it helped trigger a much greater immune response in the body compared to radiotherapy alone.
Nanobiotix explained that many tumours exhibit little or no response to therapies targeting the immune (immuno-oncology or IO) system and are considered “cold”.
If NBTXR3 can generate intratumoral immunogenic cell death (ICD), ie turn them “hot”, this could be a key to increase significantly the number of patients who can use their immune system to fight their cancer
Laurent Levy, of Nanobiotix’s chief executive, said: “Being able to transform cold tumours into hot tumors is one of the most challenging and promising topics in oncology.
“This preliminary clinical data indicates that NBTXR3 could play a key role in unlocking this potential.
“Given NBTXR3’s universal type mode of action and good safety profile, NBTXR3 could change the treatment landscape in numerous solid tumour cancers.”
Nanobiotix used tumours from its separate and ongoing Phase II/III clinical trial for NBTXR3 as a treatment for soft tissue sarcomas.
These are a typical “cold” tumours it said, but patients who received both NBTXR3 and radiotherapy showed a significant increase of immune cell infiltration (CD3+, CD8+).
In contrast, there were no differences observed between pre- and post-treatment examination where patients received radiotherapy alone.
Similarly, patients who received NBTXR3 plus radiotherapy were found to have an increased immunoscore post-treatment.
The initial data also suggests NBTXR3’s potential as an IO agent that could, on its own, trigger a specific immune response against the tumour.
“A number of upregulated genes correspond to existing or promising IO targets, enabling potential combination of NBTXR3 with therapeutic approaches, like products targeting PD1, PDL1, CTLA4,” though this requires more work to be confirmed, it added.
Nanobiotix believes that unlike many immunotherapy combination that focus on ‘priming’ the tumor, NBTXR3 may have a number of advantages: the physical and universal mode of action that could be used widely across oncology, the one-time local injection and good fit within existing medical practice already used as a basis for cancer treatment and a very good chronic safety profile and well-established manufacturing process.
Nanobiotix’s NBTXR3 is used in conjunction with radiotherapy, with the liquid injected directly into the tumour to enhance the efficacy of the treatment.
Using the technology, radiotherapy doses are targeted much more precisely, reducing the damage to surrounding healthy tissue and shrinking tumours so they can be more easily removed by surgery.