SEONGNAM-SI, South Korea--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Qurient Co. Ltd. (KRX: 115180), a clinical-stage biotech company based in Korea, today announced that the company has entered into a clinical collaboration agreement with MSD (Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ., USA), for clinical study of Q901, a selective CDK7 inhibitor in combination with MSD’s anti-PD-1 therapy KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab).
Under this agreement, Qurient will conduct a phase 1/2 study in the U.S. to evaluate safety and efficacy of Q901 in combination with KEYTRUDA for the treatment of selected advanced solid tumors.
“We are pleased to collaborate with MSD to evaluate Q901 in combination with KEYTRUDA for advanced solid tumors where limited treatment options are currently available. Q901 shows very effective tumor growth inhibition through cell cycle regulation and triggers genomic instability, which may set synthetic lethality for anti-PD-1 therapy. The Q901 and anti-PD-1 antibody combination showed beneficial effect in preclinical models, and we expect the same clinical benefits,” said Kiyean Nam, Ph.D., CEO of Qurient. “The clinical collaboration with MSD on Q901-KEYTRUDA combination follows on clinical collaboration on Q702-KEYTRUDA combination agreement announced in November 2021, and they are important milestones for patients who have had few treatment options, and Qurient’s two lead oncology assets.”
Terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.
KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme, LLC., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, USA.
Q901 is a highly selective cyclin dependent kinase 7 (CDK7) inhibitor that only inhibits CDK7 in the human kinome. CDK7 is a master regulator of cell cycle checkpoints and an essential component of transcription machinery. Selective inhibition of CDK7 by Q901 specifically kills cancer cells with aberrant cell division cycle or transcriptional regulation. In animal studies, Q901 exerts tumor growth inhibition in a number of murine cell-derived and patient-derived xenograft models, including breast, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic, small-cell lung, and colorectal cancers. Qurient licensed the CDK7 inhibitor program at the discovery research stage from Lead Discovery Center (LDC) and the Max-Planck Society and further optimized the program, completed the IND-enabling studies, and received FDA clearance of investigational new drug (IND) application.
Qurient, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development of novel therapeutics for oncology and inflammatory diseases from discovery to human proof-of-concept through a virtual R&D project management platform. Qurient’s pipeline includes multiple drug candidates in preclinical to phase 2 clinical developments. For more info, please visit www.qurient.com.