CDR-Life advances into the clinical phase

Zurich-based CDR-Life has dosed the first patient in the Phase 1 trial of BI 771716, licensed to Boehringer Ingelheim, to treat geographic atrophy (GA). This milestone brings the startup into the clinical stage.

CDR-Life is developing highly specific antibody therapeutics to target intracellular proteins presented on the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Its versatile MHC-targeted antibody platform increases access to a vast array of antigens that were not previously addressable to develop a pipeline of first-in-class therapeutics across a broad range of solid tumours such as geographic atrophy (GA), a chronic and progressive, irreversible retinal disease that occurs in people with late-stage dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), impacting the ability to see. More than 5 million people worldwide suffer from GA, of which more than 40% are legally blind. GA worsens with age, affecting 1 in 29 people above 75 and 1 in 4 people above 90. Consequently, rising incidences are expected in ageing populations.

The company’s drug candidate BI 771716, licenced Boehringer Ingelheim following their partnership in 2020, has advanced into the clinical phase, with the first patient dosed in the phase 1 trial. BI 771716 is a highly specific antibody fragment of reduced size, enabling an optimised penetration through all retinal layers to the most critical target site driving GA disease pathology. Based on its molecular properties, BI 771716 has the potential to achieve unprecedented efficacy. The Phase 1 study (NCT06006585) will evaluate the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of intravitreal single-rising doses and multiple doses of BI 771716 as a potential treatment for GA.

“This milestone marks CDR-Life’s emergence as a clinical-stage company and underscores the ability of our platform to generate molecules that may one day bring life-changing treatments to patients,” said Christian Leisner, Chief Executive Officer at CDR-Life. “We look forward to the continued development of BI 771716 as it progresses through the clinic.”

Preparations are underway for the clinical phase of further candidates like CDR404, as a first-of-its-kind antibody-based bivalent & bispecific MAGE-A4 T-cell engager (TCE) targeting MAGE-A4, an intracellular cancer protein with expression in several frequent and difficult-to-treat solid tumours.

(Press release/RAN)