Nanobiotix has appointed Alain Dostie, formerly a senior executive with Novartis Germany, as its chief operating officer (COO). Dostie will lead the development, manufacturing, market access, and sales of the company’s lead product, NBTXR3, a radio-enhanced nanoparticle therapy in development stages for seven cancer indications. It’s possible that NBTXR3 may receive its first European approval in 2017.
“We are thrilled to welcome Alain to the Nanobiotix team as our company takes major strides to enter a new phase in its development. His experience and values make Alain the perfect person to join the team to play this crucial role,” Laurent Levy, CEO of Nanobiotix, said in a press release.
NBTXR3 nanoparticles work by increasing the delivered dose of radiotherapy to the patient’s tumor and decreasing collateral damage to the surrounding healthy tissue, thereby enhancing the power and effectiveness of radiotherapy.
Preliminary data presented at the 31st Annual Meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) in November 2016 demonstrated that NBTXR3 in combination with radiotherapy induced a marked increase in immunogenic cell death compared to radiotherapy alone.
In addition, proof-of-concept studies have also shown that the agents lead to a phenomenon named abscopal effect. This happens when localized treatment of a tumor also induces the shrinking of untreated tumors, suggesting that the immune cells within the treated tumor travel to other tumor sites and destroy the cancer cells.
Other studies suggest that NBTXR3 combined with radiotherapy could be used to create a vaccine with better long-term success than radiotherapy alone.
Nanobiotix is currently assessing NBTXR3 in five cancer types, including primary liver cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, rectal, prostate, and head and neck cancers.
NBTXR3 has been studied in a now-completed Phase 1 clinical trial (NCT01433068) in patients with soft tissue sarcoma, and is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2/3 trial in advanced soft tissue sarcoma (NCT02379845).
It is also being evaluated a Phase 1/2 trial for rectal cancer in the Asia-Pacific region (NCT02465593); a Phase 1/2 trial for head and neck cancer patients in France and Spain (NCT01946867), and in a Phase 1/2 trial in Taiwan (NCT02901483); a Phase 1/2 trial in liver cancer in France (NCT02721056); and in Phase 1/2 trial for prostate cancer patients in the U.S (NCT02805894).
“Nanobiotix is at the tipping point of its value creation with the coming first Phase 2/3 interim readout and a potential first market approval this year,” Dostie said. “The unique, unrivaled and broadly applicable technology developed by Nanobiotix, along with the strong and enthusiastic team, attracted me to the company.”
He added he was “very excited” to join Nanobiotix at such an important time “and contribute to its long-term success.”