Cells react to external signals through NOTCH signalling pathways. When these signal pathways are damaged, NOTCH-dependant cancers such as leukaemia, lymphoma and solid tumours can develop. Cellestia developed CB-103 as a pan-NOTCH inhibitor to treat NOTCH-positive cancers by influencing these pathways.
The Basel-based company has now received full approval from the Spanish authorities for the first clinical trial Phase I-IIa in patients with solid tumours and haematological malignancies.
According to Cellestia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dirk Weber, they are currently no approved NOTCH-targeting agents on the market for this defined patient group, giving them a generally poor survival prognosis.
Michael Bauer, CEO of Cellestia, called reaching the clinical development stage a “major milestone” for the company.
Cellestia Biotech was founded in 2014 as a spin-off from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). It specialises in development agents that target NOTCH signalling pathways. CB-103 is its most advanced programme to date.