Crown Bioscience, HanX pact shows promise of lymphoma drug

The partnership between preclinical services firm Crown Bioscience and HanX Biopharmaceutical is showing promise for the Chinese biotech’s investigational drug to treat lymphoma.

A recent preclinical study of HanX’s HX009—which the FDA has greenlit to enter human trials—indicated the bispecific antibody has a strong affinity towards binding to PD-1 but a weaker affinity to CD47. This characteristic allows better targeting to the tumor microenvironment and minimizes potential hematological toxicity, Crown said in an August 22 release.

"These Crown Bioscience studies played an important role in supporting the application of HX009 for the treatment of lymphoma in clinical trials," the CRO said. "They also played an instrumental role in supporting the clearance of HanX’s FDA investigational new drug application, which has paved the way for a U.S.-based phase 1/2 clinical study that will assess HX009 in the treatment of relapsed/refractory lymphoma."

HX009 has already undergone phase 1 studies in Australia and China for solid tumors and lymphoma. Now, HanX has its eye on expanding clinical development into additional indications.

"Crown Bioscience consistently invests in expanding the number and diversity of models for drug development, ensuring that our models accurately represent the relevant clinical disease biology and provide a solid foundation for making informed decisions about novel therapeutics such as HanX's HX009," Ludovic Bourre, Ph.D., Crown's vice president of research and innovation, said in the release.