CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 12, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Surface Oncology (NASDAQ:SURF), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing next-generation immunotherapies that target the tumor microenvironment, today announced the initiation of a Phase I trial of SRF373, a fully human antibody targeting CD73. SRF373, also known as NZV930, is the second of Surface’s immunotherapies to advance into the clinic this year.

CD73 is an enzyme overexpressed by many tumors that is critical to the production of extracellular adenosine which in turn suppresses immune cell function and the ability of the immune system to recognize and attack tumors. In preclinical studies, NZV930 exhibited potent CD73 enzymatic inhibition, resulting in a reduction of adenosine and increased activity of immune cells.

The first-in-human study is being led by Novartis, which was granted a worldwide exclusive license to develop and commercialize NZV930 as part of its broad strategic collaboration with Surface. Under the collaboration, Surface is eligible to receive development and sales milestone payments for NZV930, as well as tiered royalties.

The Phase I study will evaluate the safety, tolerability, and preliminary anti-tumor activity of NZV930 as a single agent and in combination with other cancer immunotherapies. The initial dose escalation portion of the trial will include patients with triple negative breast cancer, ovarian cancer, microsatellite stable colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and renal cell carcinoma.

“We are very excited that Novartis has advanced our second product program into clinical development” said Rob Ross, M.D., chief medical officer of Surface Oncology. “We believe the profile of NZV930 is compelling and targeting adenosine reduction could play an important role in the treatment of patients suffering with a variety of types of cancer.” ABOUT SRF373 / NZV930

NZV930 is a fully human monoclonal antibody designed to inhibit CD73, an enzyme critical to the production of adenosine—an immunosuppressive metabolite within the tumor microenvironment. CD73 is overexpressed by many tumors making it a potential target with broad applicability. In preclinical studies, NZV930 exhibited potent CD73 enzymatic inhibition, resulting in a reduction of adenosine and increased T cell activity. Novartis holds a worldwide exclusive license to develop and commercialize NZV930.

ABOUT SURFACE ONCOLOGY

Surface Oncology is an immuno-oncology company developing next-generation antibody therapies focused on the tumor microenvironment with lead programs targeting CD47, CD73, CD39 and IL-27. Surface’s novel cancer immunotherapies are designed to achieve a clinically meaningful and sustained anti-tumor response and may be used alone or in combination with other therapies. The company has a pipeline of seven novel immunotherapies and a strategic collaboration with Novartis focused on up to three next-generation cancer immunotherapies. For more information, please visit www.surfaceoncology.com.

Media Contact:Paul Goldsmith, Ten Bridge Communications Paul@Tenbridgecommunications.com 617-697-3479

Investor Contact:Jessica Feesjfees@surfaceoncology.com617-714-4096