On May 25-26, 2018, Torch Study (ATG-008-HCC-001) Investigator Meeting and Launch Ceremony of Its Clinical Trial was held on the shore of the beautiful West Lake in Hangzhou.
Experts, professors, clinical researchers at the researchers’ meeting
The meeting was chaired by Professor Qin Shukui, lead researcher of the ATG-008-001 TORCH clinical trials, vice chair of the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology, deputy director of the Nanjing 81 Hospital of PLA, director of the PLA Oncology Center. More than 130 researchers from Chinese mainland and Taiwan and South Korea were invited, among which were world-renowned Professor Andrew Zhu of Harvard Medical School, Professor Jennifer Wu of New York University School of Medicine and Professor Chen Pei-Jer of the National Taiwan University School of Medicine, to exchange views on mechanism and effects of ATG-008 as well as related clinical trials, personal experience in treating advanced hepatocellular carcinoma with ATG-008, and the latest progress in international liver cancer clinical researches. The TORCH clinical trial program, project management, pharmacokinetics and biomarker test management, diagnostic imaging management, and drug safety reports were also discussed in the meeting.
Professor Qin Shukui, Vice President of the Nanjing 81 Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army, chaired the meeting of researchers
Dr. Jay Mei, Chairman of Antengene, delivered an opening speech. He introduced Antengene’s vision for the development of new drugs in the fields of tumor. By integrating experience of both domestic and foreign experts and the efforts from Antengene people, it endeavors to produce new drugs for Chinese and Asian patients, since diseases like HBV+ liver cancer have long been neglected by foreign pharmaceutical companies but do come with high incidence in China and other Asian countries. In the end, Dr. Mei thanked the researchers present for their active participation and strong support.
Professor Qin Shukui highlighted liver cancer and TORCH study at the conference. Liver cancer, regarded as the ”king of cancer” due to its high incidence, difficulty in treatment, and poor prognosis, remains a serious threat to the health of Chinese. Globally, about 810,000 new liver cancer cases are reported each year, of which 460,000 are in China, with China thus accounting for more than 55% of the world’s liver cancer incidence and more than half of the world’s deaths. Due to the high heterogeneity, many new drugs under development have failed in clinical trials and so far there are few innovative drugs for advanced liver cancer. ATG-008, as a new TORC1/2 dual-targeted inhibitor, is to bring hopes to liver cancer patients in China and other Asian countries. He also thanked the researchers participating in the important clinical trial program, and called on them to work together to conduct the TORCH clinical trials with high quality in order to bring new drugs to patients with HBV+ liver cancer as soon as possible.
Speech from Dr. Jay Mei, Chairman of Antengene
Then came Jennifer Wu, professor of New York University School of Medicine and director of the Bellevue Cancer Center. She shared her experience from earlier Celgene CC-223 (ATG-008) clinical trials, and made the in-depth analysis on the biological mechanism of this TORC1/2 dual-targeted inhibitor in the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. She illustrated the clinical effects of ATG-008 in patients with HBV+ liver cancer, exemplified by the data from the clinical trials she has participated in. All 10 patients enrolled in the program of New York University School of Medicine more or less benefited, with 3 enjoying partial relief and the increased life expectancy. On the basis of the analysis of biomarkers and other clinical data as well as her experience as a senior oncologist, Prof. Wu believed that ATG-008 would have a great therapeutic effect in patients with HBV+ liver cancer. The Chinese American clinician, due to her special affection for the new drug, was pleased that Antengene was able to launch clinical trials in China and some Asian countries targeting on HBV+ liver cancer patients. She wished the TORCH clinical trial program will achieve the expected results and herself has been ready to share her personal experience with clinical researchers in the Asia Pacific region.
Report from Professor Jennifer Wu of New York University School of Medicine.
The fourth one was Professor Andrew Zhu, scholar of Harvard Medical School, director of the Liver Cancer Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and a world-renowned liver cancer expert. He gave a report on the latest advances in international liver cancer clinical researches, noting that liver cancer is a common type of cancer in the Asia-Pacific region and therefore cannot be ignored. The development and approval of new targeted drugs in liver cancer field in the last 10 years, however, has been dwarfed by those in the field of other types of cancer such as lung cancer and breast cancer. For China and other Asian countries with higher incidence of HBV+ liver cancer, the development of new drugs needs to be boosted by companies like Antengene. Genetic sequence results from liver cancer reveal that liver cancer is a highly specific disease. That is to say, liver cancers can be classified into completely different types according to their different molecular basis and genetic mutation, and it also explains the lack of an effective targeted drug in the field of liver cancer.
Report form Professor Andrew Zhu of Harvard Medical School
The next one was Professor Chen Pei-Jer of National Taiwan University Medical School, important researcher in the TORCH clinical trials of ATG-008-HCC-001 in Taiwan, responsible to conduct researches on the exploration of ATG-008 biomarker methods and the relevant data analysis. He appreciated Antengene’s efforts in developing ATG-008 for the treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma in China and other Asian countries. He expressed his belief that the future of TORC1/2 dual-targeted inhibitors for HBV+ HCC treatment is promising, and hoped to work with clinical researchers from Chinese Taiwan and mainland, South Korea and the United States to make the development of ATG-008-HCC-001 TORCH a success.
Professor Chen Per-Jer of National Taiwan University Medical School taking notes during the meeting
Professor Qin made a closing speech for the meeting. He said that through the exchanges he together with other attendees updated the understandings of the design and arrangement of clinical trials. He hoped that the experts present would offer supports to the development of ATG-008-HCC-001, and wished it every success in clinical trials.
Photo of experts, professors and researchers
Antengene Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company focused on drug discovery, clinical development and the commercialization of innovative therapeutics to meet unmet medical needs. Antengene aims to provide the most advanced and first-in-class anti-cancer drug treatments for patients around the world. On April 13, 2017, Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ: CELG), a global leading innovative biopharmaceutical company became a long-term strategic partner and obtained an equity position in Antengene. Antengene’s pipeline includes six commercial and clinical stage products: ATG-010 (selinexor), in combination with the corticosteroid dexamethasone, has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. The compound is also in late clinical development for various other hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. ATG-008, a second-generation dual mTORC1/2 inhibitor, is in a multi-regional clinical trial for treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and multiple other solid tumors. Two other Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical stage drugs, ATG-016 and ATG-019, are being studied in multiple cancer types, including MDS, colorectal and prostate cancers. ATG-527 is being explored for multiple anti-viral indications, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) related diseases, etc. ATG-017 is a potent and selective small molecule extracellular signal–regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) inhibitor, in clinical development for multiple solid tumors. Antengene drug discovery team focuses on development of first-in-class novel products.