Hummingbird Bioscience, a biotechnology company developing cancer therapeutics, announced a partnership with Cancer Research UK charity to move its cancer treatment HMBD-001 into Phase I clinical trials.
Under the agreement, Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development will fund the program, manufacture the clinical grade antibody, and conduct the trial under the charity organization’s clinical development partnerships scheme.
HMBD-001, which was developed using Hummingbird’s rational antibody discovery platform, targets the HER3 receptor, obstructing it from binding to other cancer-associated proteins.
It is being investigated as a treatment for multiple solid tumours, including breast, gastric, pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancers. According to Cancer Research UK, the treatment could also be effective against drug resistant cancers, as it ‘completely turns off’ the HER3 signal responsible for cancer cells’ growth.
“For many people with cancer, targeted treatments can work in the short term, but drug resistance sometimes leads to the eventual return of their tumour,” Nigel Blackburn, Cancer Research UK’s director of drug development, said in a statement, adding that HMBD-001 has the potential to overcome the key mechanism of drug resistance.
Following the completion of Phase I trials, Hummingbird will have the option to acquire the rights to the clinical trial results and further advance the program, otherwise Cancer Research UK will have the right to take the program forward in all indications.