CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Incendia Therapeutics, a precision oncology company discovering and developing a novel class of therapies that reprogram the tumor microenvironment (TME), today announced the appointment of Wendye Robbins, M.D., as Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Robbins is a pharmaceutical executive with more than 20 years of experience pioneering drug discovery and leading the growth of companies at all stages of development. The company also announced that the first patient has been dosed with PRTH-101 in the Phase 1b multiple-ascending dose trial cohort for the treatment of patients with immune-excluded solid tumors.
“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Robbins to Incendia. Her extensive business acumen and strong record of success in progressing therapeutic candidates through regulatory approvals will be invaluable as we advance our pipeline of first-in-class TME-focused drug candidates including PRTH-101 now currently being evaluated in a Phase 1b clinical study,” said Michael Kauffman, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the Board.
The Phase 1b clinical trial will evaluate PRTH-101 treatment across three different dose levels in combination with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab). The outcome of the trial will guide the company in determining the recommended Phase 2 dose for PRTH-101.
“As the Phase 1a single agent study of PRTH-101 continues with early evidence of anti-tumor activity and good tolerability, we are pleased to initiate the Phase 1b trial of PRTH-101. Cancer patients suffering from immune excluded tumors remain in need of effective therapies,” said Wendye Robbins, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Incendia. “I look forward to leading this talented team to further advance our portfolio of novel anti-cancer therapies that reprogram the tumor microenvironment.”
Dr. Robbins is a seasoned biopharmaceutical leader with more than two decades of industry experience. Dr. Robbins has shepherded multiple small and large molecule therapeutics through development and has a track record of building nascent life sciences companies with investors. She has served as an independent director for RAPT Therapeutics (RAPT) since 2019. She has raised approximately $2 billion in capital across the many companies she has supported.
Dr. Robbins received her B.S. from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, followed by an M.D. from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She completed a medical internship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and a residency in Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and a Fellowship in Pain Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is board certified in Anesthesiology. Dr. Robbins maintained a part time role as Associate Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine during her early years in biotechnology.
PRTH-101 is a therapeutic antibody that allosterically modulates DDR1, a collagen binding protein and kinase that plays a secondary role in wound healing. Some tumor cells are believed to co-opt DDR1 – collagen binding to build an impenetrable barrier around the tumor. By disabling DDR1, PRTH-101 disrupts tumor associated collagen alignment thus allowing immune cells access to the tumor core. The Company’s preclinical research has demonstrated that PRTH-101 mediated DDR1 blockade may have have both single agent anti-tumor activity as well as marked augmentation of checkpoint inhibitor function. Tumor types that express high levels of DDR1-associated collagen barriers include colorectal, ovarian, glioma, and non-small cell lung cancer. Currently, there are no approved drugs that target DDR1.
About the Phase 1 Trial
The Phase 1 trial (NCT05753722) is a multi-center, open-label, dose escalation and dose expansion study that is expected to enroll up to 270 patients in the US with advanced or metastatic solid tumors. The goals of the study are to assess safety and tolerability of PRTH-101, evaluate anti-tumor activity in select indications alone and in combination with anti-PD-1 inhibitors, and determine dosing regimens for the Phase 2 clinical program. In addition to examining the clinical profile of PRTH-101, the trial will evaluate DDR1 and pathway-related proteins as predictive biomarkers for patients whose tumors respond to treatment.
About Incendia Therapeutics
Incendia Therapeutics is discovering and developing a novel class of anti-cancer therapies that reprogram the tumor microenvironment (TME). Recent research has shown that the interplay between tumor cells and their surrounding TME results in the creation of barriers that markedly attenuate the immune system’s ability to attack the tumor. Based on rigorous, groundbreaking research, Incendia is developing a portfolio of drug candidates to treat select patients at the appropriate/ideal stage in disease progression. For more information visit incendia.com and LinkedIn.