Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 07:00
  • IPH5401 is a first-in-class antibody targeting the C5a receptor expressed on subsets of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) and neutrophils in the tumor microenvironment
  • IPH5401 combined with PD-1/PD-L1 blockade represents a novel combination approach in immuno-oncology

Innate Pharma SA (the “Company” - Euronext Paris: FR0010331421 – IPH) today announced that the first patient has been enrolled in the Phase I dose escalation and expansion study (STELLAR-001*) evaluating IPH5401 in combination with durvalumab (Imfinzi®), an anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, for the treatment of patients with solid tumors, including non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with secondary resistance to prior immuno-oncology (IO) treatment and IO-naïve hepatocarcinoma (HCC).

”We are pleased to have started the first clinical study for IPH5401,” commented Pierre Dodion, Chief Medical Officer of Innate Pharma. “Despite significant recent advances in immunotherapy, immune escape of tumor cells remains a major challenge. We believe that IPH5401 has a high potential for cancer patients in multiple indications and could play an important role in PD-1/PD-L1 combination strategies for patients who are non-responsive, have a poor response or who have stopped responding to PD-1/PD-L1 immunotherapies.”

Both durvalumab and IPH5401 are cancer immunotherapies, a potent class of treatments that use the body's own immune system to help fight cancer. Durvalumab blocks PD-L1 interactions with PD-1 and CD80, countering the tumor’s immune-evading tactics and inducing an immune response. Preclinical findings suggest that C5aR blockade increases immune-mediated tumor killing and efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors (CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR ICI 2017, poster #B184). Complement cascade factor 5a (C5a), secreted by tumor cells, attracts and stimulates C5aR-overexpressing myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) and neutrophils in the tumor microenvironment. Part of the innate immune system, these types of cells promote tumor growth by secreting inflammatory mediators, immunosuppressive cytokines and angiogenic factors. They potently suppress T and NK cells and hamper the activities of PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint blockers.

The two-part study design includes an initial dose escalation phase to explore three doses of IPH5401 in combination with durvalumab in selected solid tumors. The first cohort will include a two-week run-in period evaluating the safety of IPH5401 prior to performing the combination dosing. At the highest dose of IPH5401, two dosing schedules will be evaluated. The recommended dosing regimen will then be used in the subsequent expansion part of the study in NSCLC with secondary resistance to IO and IO-naïve HCC; both tumors constitute patient populations with a high unmet medical need.  

In January 2018, Innate Pharma and MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, entered into a non-exclusive clinical trial collaboration to evaluate the combination of IPH5401 and durvalumab in a Phase I study for patients with selected solid tumors. The study is conducted by Innate and the costs are equally shared by both parties.

Clinical trial sites are located in France and the US. For more information on the STELLAR-001 clinical study (NCT03665129), please visit


* STELLAR = SelecTivE bLocking of compLement receptor C5AR to boost immune response and improve cancer outcomes

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