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Collab to drive development of solid tumour combination therapy

The EGFR immune engager in combination with pembrolizumab is expected to be administered to the first patients in late 2024.

DF9001 KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) solid tumoursDF9001 KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) solid tumours

Biotech company Dragonfly Therapeutics Inc has agreed to collaborate with Merck (MSD outside the US and Canada), to evaluate a first-in-class EGFR-targeting treatment in combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) for EGFR-expressing advanced solid tumours. According to Dragonfly Therapeutics, DF9001 has the potential to stimulate anti-tumour immunity in patients who are not eligible or not adequately responding to current therapies.

DF9001 is being evaluated in adult patients for the treatment of advanced solid EGFR-positive tumours. It is being investigated as a monotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Dragonfly Therapeutics also shared that the treatment “potently redirects natural killer (NK) cells, gamma-delta T cells, and CD8 T cells by engaging activating receptors NKG2D and CD16”.

Driving anti-tumour activity

We are hopeful that DF9001 in combination with KEYTRUDA will drive potent anti-tumour activity in a broad range of indications and are excited to further accelerate progress in the clinic to benefit patients in need”

“We are pleased to enter into this agreement with Merck for our ongoing, investigational Phase I trial of DF9001. In preclinical models, DF9001 engages multiple immune effector cells to drive anti-tumour activity and induces PD-L1 expression in tumour cells, sensitising cold tumours to checkpoint inhibitors.

“We are hopeful that DF9001 in combination with KEYTRUDA will drive potent anti-tumour activity in a broad range of indications and are excited to further accelerate progress in the clinic to benefit patients in need,” commented Bill Haney, co-founder and CEO of Dragonfly Therapeutics.

It is anticipated that the first patients will be given Dragonfly’s EGFR immune engager and Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy combination therapy for solid tumours in the final quarter of 2024.

Further details about the clinical trial for KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in combination with DF9001 can be found on clinicaltrials.gov: (NCT 05597839).

Last month, MSD (Merck) released promising clinical data for a combination treatment comprising of pembrolizumab as well as mirvetuximab soravtansine, to treat folate receptor-α (FRα) positive recurrent microsatellite stable (MSS) / mismatch repair proficient (pMMR) serious endometrial cancer.