Naratuximab emtansine is a new antibody drug conjugate therapy for patients with B-cell malignancies working by delivering a potent cytotoxic via a novel disease target, CD37. Recent phase II data shows it to be a promising alternative combination therapy for DLBCL and other B-cell malignancies in cases where patients have relapsed or not responded to earlier lines of treatment. The potential benefit observed with this potent ADC technology have brought us to the stage of actively seeking a global partner to unfold the full value of this novel therapeutic option. Naratuximab emtansine has also shown promising signs of efficacy in Marginal Zone Lymphoma and Follicular Lymphoma and has potential in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Focus on DLBCL
The most common type of NHL
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common type of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, accounting for 30-40% of cases. Despite improvements in response and survival with standard of care R-CHOP chemotherapy, up to 10% of DLBCL patients have primary refractory disease and up to 40% eventually relapse. In response to this unmet need, recent efforts have focused on the development of new antibodies to improve overall survival by targeting alternative B-cell surface antigens.
Focus on the mode of action
Naratuximab emtansine targets CD37
The CD37 antigen is widely present on the surface of cancerous blood cells in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL), but absent on normal stem cells and plasma cells. Targeting the CD37 antigen on blood cancer cell surfaces in combination with SOC rituximab can help to promote cancer cell death by specifically delivering the cytotoxic payload DM1. The naratuximab emtansine ADC binds with high affinity and specificity to CD37, obstructing cell proliferation pathways while allowing internalization, processing, and intracellular release of the DM1 payload. As a result of its ability to disrupt microtubule assembly, DM1 subsequently induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.
Focus on phase II research
Phase II Trial completion in Q1 2021
Debiopharm is currently investigating Debio 1562 in combination with rituximab in patients with R/R DLBCL. The objective of this phase II study of 60 patients is to establish the safety and efficacy profile using two different administration regimen.
June 14, 2021
Debiopharm’s CD37 antibody drug conjugate shows promising phase II results for the treatment of B-cell malignancies