press release tileF-star, a biopharmaceutical company focused on immuno-oncology and inflammation, has announced a publication in Molecular Therapy describing the anti-tumour effects of the lead compound, FS102 in preclinical animal models.

The data published show that FS102 bound Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 (HER2) with high affinity and recognizes an epitope, which does not overlap with those of trastuzumab or pertuzumab. Furthermore, FS102 induced complete tumour regression and tumour cell apoptosis in animal models owing to internalization and degradation of HER2.

FS102 is a HER2-specific Fcab (Fc fragment with antigen binding) derived from F-star’s Modular Antibody Technology and is in Phase I clinical testing in HER2-positive breast and gastric cancer patients. The trial is being conducted by Bristol-Myers Squibb which entered into an agreement in October 2014 with F-star Alpha Ltd and its stockholders that provides BMS the exclusive option to acquire F-star Alpha and gain worldwide rights to the FS102 programme.

John Haurum, Chief Executive Officer of F-star, said: “We are delighted to publish preclinical data on our lead Fcab compound in this prestigious peer-reviewed journal. The HER2 receptor plays an important role in the growth of HER2 positive tumours and as a target for cancer therapeutics. The data support the potential of FS102 against HER2-positive breast cancer and other HER2-positive cancers and further validates our Modular Antibody Technology.”

F-star’s Modular Antibody Technology platform introduces an antigen binding site into the constant region of an antibody. The resulting Fcab has activity in its own right, as for FS102, or it can be used as a building block for other drug formats. Thus, an Fcab can easily be engineered into any existing antibody to create a bispecific antibody (mAb2) or it can be used as an Antibody Drug Conjugate by the addition of a toxin.