Iksuda Therapeutics (Iksuda), a developer of next generation Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs), today announced it will present the first data on its lead ADC, IKS01, at ESMO Congress 2019. IKS01, an ADC targeting the folate receptor, has shown significant anti-tumour efficacy in pre-clinical models of ovarian and lung tumours, each of which included a broad range of folate-receptor alpha (FRA) expression.

ADCs allow for the targeted delivery of a potent cytotoxic payload to tumours, resulting in selective killing with increased efficacy and less off-target toxicity than standard-of-care chemotherapies. Frequent over-expression of FRA in ovarian and non-small-cell lung cancer (accounting for 80% of lung cancer cases) and relative lack of expression in normal tissue make it an attractive therapeutic target. However, anti-tumour activity is generally limited to patients whose tumours express high levels of FRA.

IKS01 is an ADC comprised of an FRA-targeting antibody conjugated via Iksuda’s PermaLink® technology to Femtogenix’s highly potent FGX2-62 payload. IKS01 is target specific and these new data confirm that it is highly effective in causing tumour regression in FRA-expressing models at doses that are well-tolerated, significantly more active than a benchmark ADC and caused complete regressions in low/moderate FRA-expressing models.

The IKS01 data is a major advancement of Iksuda’s ADC drug pipeline, from which it aims to progress multiple candidates towards first clinical studies in 2020.

Dave Simpson PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Iksuda Therapeutics, said:Ovarian cancer is one of the most deadly gynaecological cancers and lung cancer remains a leading cause of cancer-related death. The IKS01 data highlight the potential impact of our ADC pipeline by targeting difficult-to-treat tumours and advancing current standard of care.”

 Iksuda Therapeutics will present its poster: ‘IKS01, a next generation antibody drug conjugate (ADC) designed to be efficacious in tumors with low and moderate levels of folate receptor alpha (FRA) expression’ at 12:00 -13:00 28th September at ESMO Congress 2019 presentation number 58P.