ImmunoGen, Inc. (Nasdaq: IMGN), a biotechnology company that develops targeted anticancer therapeutics using its Targeted Antibody Payload (TAP) technology, disclosed for the first time today preclinical data for its EGFR-targeting ADC, IMGN289. The data are being presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2013 in Washington, DC (abstracts# 5463, 5467, and 5483). ImmunoGen developed IMGN289 to treat EGFR-overexpressing cancers, which include many cases of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and expects to begin clinical testing of the compound later this year.
“IMGN289 represents a highly promising new therapy for EGFR-overexpressing cancers”
IMGN289 contains an EGFR-binding antibody that can achieve significant inhibition of EGFR-signaling, an important mechanism of action for EGFR-overexpressing cancers being fueled by EGFR. In studies reported today, the antibody in IMGN289 was shown to provide potency comparable to or better than cetuximab (Erbitux®) in preclinical models of SCCHN and NSCLC.
An ADC, IMGN289 also contains the Company's potent DM1 cancer cell-killing agent, which is attached to the EGFR-binding antibody using ImmunoGen's SMCC thioether linker. The linker/cell-killing agent format of IMGN289 is the same as that of ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla™) and IMGN529 - other TAP compounds that also contain antibodies with anticancer properties.
The DM1 enables IMGN289 to kill EGFR-overexpressing cancers by a second method that is independent of the sensitivity of these cells to EGFR inhibition. In preclinical models of EGFR-overexpressing cancers reported today, IMGN289 was highly active against NSCLC not dependent on EGFR signaling and against NSCLC with acquired resistance to TKIs; in SCCHN models responsive to EGFR, IMGN289 was significantly more active than cetuximab.
"IMGN289 represents a highly promising new therapy for EGFR-overexpressing cancers," commented John Lambert, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer. "Its dual mechanisms of action - ability to kill cancers through EGFR inhibition and through direct cell killing - should enable IMGN289 to be more effective than current EGFR-targeting agents against EGFR-overexpressing cancers, both those that are responsive to EGFR inhibition and those that are not."
Dr. Lambert continued, "In developing IMGN289, our scientists identified a new class of EGFR-binding antibody - one that, in preclinical testing, achieves potent EGFR inhibition, but with less skin toxicity than marketed anti-EGFR antibodies. We expect IMGN289, comprising our TAP technology and this antibody, to provide significant efficacy benefits in the clinic with a favorable tolerability profile."
IMGN289 is on track to become the Company's fourth wholly owned clinical-stage compound. The Company is preparing to submit the IMGN289 IND in mid-2013 and to begin IMGN289 clinical testing later this year.
SOURCE ImmunoGen, Inc.