Nanobiotix, a clinical-stage nanomedicine company pioneering novel approaches for the local treatment of cancer, has announced that its lead compound NBTXR3 has received authorization from the French Medicine Agency, ANSM, to start a clinical trial in patients with locally advanced cancers of the oral cavity or oropharynx (head and neck cancer), at the Institut Curie, Paris, France, a leading French cancer treatment center. This represents a second indication for NBTXR3, which is also in clinical trials for soft tissue sarcoma.
The phase I trial will be an open-label non-randomized, dose escalation study of safety and tolerability evaluation of NBTXR3. The product will be implanted by intra-arterial (IA) or intra-tumor (IT) injection, and activated by high precision radiation therapy (Intensity-modulated radiation therapy – IMRT) delivered as per current medical practice. Patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity or oropharynx constitute the targeted population which includes frail and elderly patients. Two different administration schedules of NBTXR3 will be investigated simultaneously in 2 different groups of patients. Allocation of patients to the intra-tumor injection or intra-arterial injection depends on the patient and tumor singularity. Based on the observed safety, the recommended doses for further evaluation of NBTXR3 as intra-arterial or intra-tumor injection with radiotherapy will be selected.
The secondary objectives of the study include assessment of the tumor Response Rate and complete Response Rate by MRI, and the evaluation of local and general Progression Free Survival of NBTXR3. Furthermore, the feasibility of local administration, either intra-tumor or intra-arterial injection of NBTXR3, then activated by radiotherapy will be evaluated.
Approximately, 24 patients are expected to be treated in any schedule (IT or IA) of the trial, with a total of maximum 48 patients.
“The approval from ANSM to start a second clinical trial with NBTXR3 in Head and Neck cancer patients is a major milestone for Nanobiotix,” said Laurent Levy, PhD, CEO of Nanobiotix. “This follows the recent positive intermediate results from the clinical study of NBTXR3 in advanced Soft Tissue Sarcoma patients, which continues the regulatory pathway to market.”
Head and neck cancer represents a group of biologically similar cancers that appear in the mouth, the nose, the sinuses and at the top of the aerodigestive tract. This type of cancer could be cured if detected early. With large tumours in this area, the most common method of treatment is some form of surgery or radiation therapy. The issue with surgery is its detrimental effect on the patient’s function, in terms of swallowing, breathing or speech – and cosmetic appearance.
The aim of using the NanoXray product, NBTXR3 in radiation therapy is to improve tumor destruction and maintain the patients’ function and appearance.
“Head and neck cancers are a major concern of public health in some European countries and across Asia. There is an immediate need for innovative therapies in this type of cancer. NBTXR3 may significantly help to improve the quality of life in this patient population including frail and elderly patients,” said Alain Herrera, oncologist and non-executive board member of Nanobiotix.