Oportuzumab monatox is in clinical development for the treatment of patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), specifically high-grade (Ta or any T1) papillary disease who were unresponsive to prior treatment with Bacillus CalmetteGuerin (BCG) with or without interferon. Bladder cancer starts in the inner lining of the bladder and the most common symptom is passing blood in urine. NMIBC is an early bladder cancer and is the most common type. This type of cancer if often found on small sections of tissue and can spread to connective tissue that separates the lining of the bladder from the muscles beneath, but does not involve the bladder wall muscle. NMIBC is a very prevalent cancer that can progress to become incurable high-grade NMIBC means the cancer is more likely to grow, spread quickly and to come back after initial treatment. Current standard of care include bladder removal or radical cystectomy which has significant impact on patients quality of life (QoL).
Oportuzumab monatox is given by catheter directly into the bladder. It works by binding to a protein called epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) on the surface of epithelial cells and some types of cancer cells. It targets and kills EpCAM positive cells tumour cells programmed cell death. If licensed, oportuzumab monatox will provide an additional treatment option for patients with NMIBC, specifically high-grade (Ta or any T1) papillary disease who were unresponsive to prior treatment with BCG.