Cantargia Reports New Preclinical Data on Antitumor Effects of Nadunolimab in Pancreatic Cancer

LUND, SE / ACCESSWIRE / March 5, 2024 / Cantargia (STO:CANTA) (Cantargia AB);(Nasdaq Stockholm: CANTA) today reported new preclinical data highlighting how nadunolimab, an IL1RAP-targeting antibody currently in phase II clinical development, may induce antitumor activity in pancreatic cancer by blocking fibrosis. The data will be presented as a poster at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2024 in San Diego and were generated in a collaboration with Nordic Bioscience A/S and the group of Dr. Marcus Järås at Lund University.

“These new data are really promising and strengthen our confidence of nadunolimab as future therapy for pancreatic cancer” said Göran Forsberg, CEO of Cantargia.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a lethal disease with poor survival prognosis. Nadunolimab is currently in phase II clinical development in first line PDAC and has shown pronounced effects including a much longer survival than expected from historical controls. One factor that significantly contributes to the poor treatment response in PDAC is the high abundance of tumor-supporting stroma, driven by the excessive activity of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). The new data now show that in pancreatic cancer-associated fibroblasts, interleukin-1alpha (IL-1alpha) and IL-1beta both induce formation of type III collagen (as measured by PRO-C3), a biomarker which has been found to correlate with poor survival in PDAC. Similarly, formation of type III collagen could also be induced by pancreatic cancer cells when co-cultured with pancreatic CAFs. Notably, addition of nadunolimab to the in vitro co-cultures potently blocked the induction of type III collagen formation. Thus, the new data strengthen the role of IL-1alpha and IL-1beta in pancreatic tumor fibrosis and highlight the potential for nadunolimab to counter the detrimental, fibrotic microenvironment in PDAC tumors.

“One of the clinical challenges in treating pancreatic cancer relates to the tumor promoting fibrosis, a hallmark of this disease. Nadunolimab’s ability to block this fibrosis is very promising and gives a strong support to the clinical and translational results we have to date” said David Liberg, CSO of Cantargia.

The data was generated in collaboration with Nordic Bioscience A/S and Lund University and will be presented by Dr. Nicholas Willumsen from Nordic Bioscience at the AACR Annual Meeting April 5-10 in San Diego, California. The abstract has now been published on the conference website (link).

Title: ILRAP blockade mediates anti-fibrotic effects in pancreatic cancer-associated fibroblasts
Session Title: The Tumor Microenvironment as a Drug Target
Session Date and Time: Monday Apr 8, 2024 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Published Abstract Number: 2895

After the conference, the poster will be available at Cantargia’s web page (link).

For further information, please contact
Göran Forsberg, CEO
Telephone: +46 (0)46-275 62 60

About Cantargia
Cantargia AB (publ), reg. no. 556791-6019, is a biotechnology company that develops antibody-based treatments for life-threatening diseases and has established a platform based on the protein IL1RAP, involved in a number of cancer forms and inflammatory diseases. The main program, the antibody nadunolimab (CAN04), is being studied clinically primarily in combination with chemotherapy with a focus on pancreatic cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and triple-negative breast cancer. Positive interim data for the combinations indicate stronger efficacy than would be expected from chemotherapy alone. Cantargia’s second development program, the antibody CAN10, blocks signaling via IL1RAP in a different manner than nadunolimab and addresses treatment of serious autoimmune/inflammatory diseases, with initial focus on systemic sclerosis and myocarditis.

Cantargia is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (ticker: CANTA). More information about Cantargia is available at

About nadunolimab (CAN04)
The antibody nadunolimab binds strongly to its target IL1RAP and functions by inducing ADCC and blocking IL-1alpha and IL-1beta signaling. Nadunolimab can thereby counteract the IL-1 system which contributes to the immune suppressive tumor microenvironment and development of resistance to chemotherapy. Nadunolimab is investigated in multiple clinical trials; the phase I/IIa trial CANFOUR, NCT03267316, evaluates nadunolimab in combination with standard chemotherapies in patients with PDAC (gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel) or NSCLC (platinum-based chemotherapies). Positive interim data show durable responses for the combination therapy in 73 PDAC patients, resulting in median iPFS of 7.2 months and median OS of 13.2 months. An even higher median OS of 14.2 months was observed in a subgroup of patients with high tumor levels of IL1RAP. Strong efficacy was also observed in 30 NSCLC patients with median PFS of 7.0 months and a response rate of 53%; even higher responses were observed in non-squamous NSCLC patients. Early efficacy data from the phase Ib/II trial TRIFOUR, NCT05181462, also shows signs of promising efficacy in TNBC with a 60% response rate for nadunolimab combined with carboplatin/gemcitabine. Nadunolimab is also investigated with chemotherapy in the clinical trials CAPAFOUR, NCT04990037, and CESTAFOUR, NCT05116891, and with the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab in the CIRIFOUR trial, NCT04452214.

Cantargia reports new preclinical data on antitumor effects of nadunolimab in pancreatic cancer

SOURCE: Cantargia

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