STOCKHOLM, Feb. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Cantargia AB (publ) (Cantargia) today announced it has appointed Dr. Ignacio Garcia-Ribas as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Cantargia from March 1, 2020. He will be a member of the Executive Management and have a key role in the advancement of the company's antibody CAN04 in phase IIa clinical development for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and pancreatic cancer (PDAC).
The appointment of Dr. Garcia-Ribas MD, PhD, as CMO is an important step for Cantargia as the company continues to make progress with its main project, the antibody CAN04 with a double mechanism designed to counteract tumor-promoting inflammatory mechanisms. CAN04, targeting IL1RAP, is currently in Phase IIa clinical development in NSCLC and PDAC. Dr. Garcia-Ribas, who is medical oncologist, brings more than 15 years' experience in oncology early drug development in the pharma industry. Most of his research activities have been carried out in the US and in Japan.
Dr. Garcia-Ribas, who most recently held the position as Senior Medical Director at Takeda and acted as Global Clinical Lead across several Phase I and II programs in Takeda's oncology pipeline with a focus on immuno-oncology, was responsible for the clinical development plans, including oversight of translational, regulatory, operational and safety aspects of the molecules and trials. In his role he led several successful Investigational New Drug (IND) applications for first-in-class, first-in-human drugs. Prior to joining Takeda, he was part of Sanofi's early oncology development group in the role of Senior Medical Director. In this position he directed the initial steps in the development of several small molecules and antibody-drug conjugates. Before Sanofi, he was part of the Early Development Unit in Eli Lilly where he contributed to develop of several small molecules and antisense oligonucleotides.
Dr. Garcia-Ribas obtained his Medical Oncology degree at the Universidad Autónoma in Madrid. He performed his PhD in Medicine at the Richard Dimbleby Department for Cancer Research /ICRF Unit at St. Thomas' Hospital in London on cancer gene therapy under supervision of Prof. Ian Hart.
"We are thrilled to have Ignacio on the Cantargia team. With his extensive experience in advancing development in numerous clinical trials, he will be a critical asset for us as we push forward with the clinical program with CAN04, which recently showed promising interim data," said Göran Forsberg, CEO of Cantargia. "His broad international network and track record of meetings with the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency help us in our goal of fighting cancer."
"I am pleased to join Cantargia at such an exciting moment of the company's development. The results from CAN04 and the biology behind this antibody generate tremendous opportunities for Cantargia. I look forward to working with the team to take the company to the next level and ultimately help patients struggling with cancer," said Dr. Garcia-Ribas.
For further information, please contact
Göran Forsberg, CEO
The information was submitted for publication at 15.30 CET on 25 February 2020.
Cantargia AB (publ), reg. no. 556791-6019, is a biotechnology company that develops antibody-based treatments for life-threatening diseases. The basis for this is the protein IL1RAP that is involved in a number of diseases and where Cantargia has established a platform. The main project, the antibody CAN04, is being studied in the clinical phase I/IIa CANFOUR study with a primary focus on non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer. The study is focused on combination therapies, but also includes a monotherapy arm. Positive interim data from the combination therapies were presented in December 2019. Cantargia's second project, the antibody CAN10, 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 http://www.cantargia.com.
The antibody CAN04 binds IL1RAP with high affinity and functions through both ADCC and blockade of IL-1α and IL-1β signaling. CAN04 is investigated in an open label phase I/IIa clinical trial, CANFOUR, examining first line chemotherapy combination with two different standard regimes in 31 patients with NSCLC (gemcitabine/cisplatin) and 31 patients with PDAC (gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel) as well as monotherapy in late stage patients (www.clinicaltrials.gov). The phase I monotherapy data from 22 patients were presented at ASCO 2019 and showed a good safety with infusion related reaction being the most common side effect. In addition, the biomarkers IL6 and CRP were decreased with treatment and 9/21 patients had stable disease. Positive interim data from the combination therapies were presented in December 2019. A phase I trial investigating CAN04 in combination with an immune checkpoint inhibitor is planned to start H1 2020.
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