Nodal is a secreted protein normally only expressed in the embryo but gets re-expressed in aggressive cancers. In those cancers it drives the stem cell phenotype and induces resistance to therapeutics. The antibody that TaiRx US is developing has demonstrated anti-tumor activity in multiple in vivo models including melanoma and breast cancer. In particular, the antibody reverses the resistant phenotype of aggressive cancers in vivo. The TaiRx US anti-Nodal antibody therefore holds promise for improving the efficacy of targeted therapy and immune checkpoint inhibitors in non-responding patients.
The antibody is currently in final phase of humanization. We anticipate initiating a Phase I clinical trial by the first quarter of 2020.