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Tracon Pharma Shares Rally As First Patient Dosed In Cancer Trial

Shanthi Rexaline

Shares of the thinly traded nanocap biotech TRACON Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: TCON) were rallying Thursday.

What Happened

Tracon, which specializes in novel therapeutics for cancer, said it has dosed the first patient in a U.S. Phase 1 first-in-human clinical trial of I-Mab's proprietary CD73 antibody TJD5, also known as TJ004309, in patients with advanced solid tumors.

TJD5 is from Chinese biopharma stable and it is being co-developed through a corporate collaboration between Tracon and I-Mab that was signed in November 2018.

TJD5 will be dosed in the Phase 1 trial both as a single agent and in combination with Tecentriq, Roche Holdings AG Basel ADR (OTC: RHHBY)'s PD-L1 immunotherapy, Tracon said. 

The study will evaluate the safety and tolerability of TJD5 in a bid to finalize the recommended doses for further clinical studies of its efficacy and safety as a single agent and in combination with a standard dose of Tecentriq in patients with advanced or metastatic cancer who are intolerant of all available therapies.

Why It's Important

"We will continue to work with I-Mab to optimize the clinical development of TJD5, an antibody with global best-in-class potential," Tracon CEO Charles Theuer said in a statement.

Incidentally, TRACON had to shelve a late-stage study of a pipeline asset in April, which sent its shares down by about 50% in a single session. The stock hasn't recovered much since then.

Treatment resistance to PD-1/PD-L1 is seen as a challenge for several cancer types. The combination of TJD5 and Tecentriq will provide a novel treatment option to address the unmet medical needs, according to I-Mab.

Tracon shares were trading higher by 8.8% at 48 cents at the time of publication Thursday. 

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