Novartis goes up against Glaxo in Tim-3

Rather like Tigit, Tim-3 is an immune system checkpoint mechanism that in the past year has made a bid to re-emerge from obscurity. The big pharma group most heavily invested in it seems to be Novartis, which recently has made much of its contender, sabatolimab. In today’s fourth-quarter results presentation the Swiss group said that a phase II myelodysplastic syndromes trial should read out in the second half of this year, while pivotal data in the pre-cancerous disease will come in 2023. At last year’s Ash meeting a phase I chemo combo study yielded a 23% overall remission rate among 35 MDS subjects. Novartis’s nearest rival is Glaxosmithkline’s cobolimab, but like the rest of the competition this is targeting solid tumours, in three phase II trials enrolling 689 subjects. It appears to be some way behind sabatolimab, with Glaxo stating at the recent JP Morgan conference that it expected proof-of-concept data for cobo in NSCLC this year. Previous excitement over Tim-3 included Curis playing up its small-molecule contender back in 2016, but this never entered the clinic and is likely on the back burner.

Selected oncology projects targeting Tim-3
Project Company Detail
Phase III
Sabatolimab Novartis Pivotal Stimulus-MDS2 trial (NCT04266301) in MDS
Phase II
Cobolimab (TSR-022) Glaxosmithkline (ex Tesaro)/ Anaptysbio 4 Ph2 dostarlimab combo studies, incl Costar-Lung (NCT04655976)
Phase I
BGB-A425 Beigene NCT03744468, anti-PD-1 combo, ends Jun 2021
Sym023 Les Laboratoires Servier NCT03311412, anti-PD-1 combo, ends Nov 2021
BMS-986299 Bristol Myers Squibb NCT03444753, +/- Opdivo/Yervoy, ends Nov 2021
BMS-986258 Bristol Myers Squibb/Five Prime NCT03446040, +/- Opdivo, ends Mar 2025
INCAGN2390 Incyte/Agenus NCT04370704, anti-PD-1/Lag-3 combo, ends Jul 2023
SHR-1702 Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine NCT03871855, +/- anti-PD-1, study status unknown
TQB2618 Sino Biopharmaceutical NCT04623892, monotherapy, trial yet to begin
CA-327 Curis Small-mol PD-L1/Tim-3 inhibitor, likely deprioritised
HLX52 Shanghai Henlius Biotech
Source: EvaluatePharma.

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