05.01.24 | news

HiberCell Announces First Patient Dosed in Clinical Collaboration with Merck, Evaluating HC-7366 in Combination with WELIREG® (belzutifan) in patients with advanced ccRCC

BOSTON, May 01, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — HiberCell, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapeutics to address cancer relapse, metastasis, and resistance, is pleased to announce the dosing of the first patient in a Phase 1b study evaluating HC-7366, an activator of integrated stress response (ISR) Kinase GCN2, in combination with Merck’s oral hypoxia-inducible factor-2α (HIF-2α) inhibitor WELIREG® (belzutifan) for the treatment of advanced clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC).

The Phase 1b study (NCT06234605) will evaluate the safety, tolerability, and preliminary efficacy of HC-7366 in combination with belzutifan in patients with advanced ccRCC. This trial will also determine a recommended Phase 2 dose (RP2D) of HC-7366 in combination with fixed-dose belzutifan, 120 mg po qd. Dose escalation of HC-7366 in the combination, followed by an expansion phase will optimize dose evaluation. An independent HC-7366 monotherapy cohort is being evaluated in parallel. The study will enroll up to 80 patients at clinical sites across the US. Robert J. Motzer, MD., Section Head, Kidney Cancer, Genitourinary Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) will be the lead Principal Investigator (PI) for the clinical trial.

“The first patient dosed in this trial marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the clinical development of HC-7366,” stated Cherry Thomas, M.D., Chief Medical Officer. “The combination of HC-7366 with belzutifan, a key agent for the treatment of clear cell renal cell carcinoma, offers a potentially promising novel and differentiated treatment in a setting with major unmet need and limited treatment options for patients. We recently presented key aspects of the significant preclinical data in support of the combination at the 2024 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Conference.”

WELIREG® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA.

Dr. Motzer has financial interests related to Merck.

About HC-7366

HC-7366 is a first-in-class, first-in-human, selective, potent, small molecule activator of the general control nonderepressible 2 (GCN2) kinase. GCN2 is one of the kinases of the integrated stress response (ISR) family, which responds to amino acid deprivation and is a key metabolic stress sensor in cells. While cancer cells utilize the ISR for survival, prolonged or hyperactivation of GCN2 with HC-7366 has been shown to have antitumor and immunomodulatory activity as a monotherapy and in combination with SOC agents in preclinical models of both solid and liquid tumors. HC-7366 is currently under clinical development in a Phase 1b study in clear cell renal cell carcinoma in combination with belzutifan.

About HiberCell

HiberCell is a clinical stage oncology company, dedicated to the advancement of first-in-class agents with the novel MOA of modulation of adaptive stress pathways and antitumor immunity. We believe that therapeutic modulation of these mechanisms allows us to address tumor metastasis, treatment resistance, and cancer relapse; all significant drivers of cancer-related deaths. Our product candidates HC-5404 and HC-7366, both having completed Phase 1a clinical trials, target the stress response kinases PERK and GCN2, respectively, while our product candidate odetiglucan, currently advancing towards Phase 2 clinical development, modulates the antitumor innate immune response. For more information about HiberCell, please visit hibercell.com.

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