Cadonilimab (PD-1/CTLA-4 Bispecific Antibody) Obtained Approval to Initiate Phase III Clinical Trial for First-Line Treatment of Advanced Cervical Cancer

On April 28, 2021, Akeso, Inc. (9926.HK) announced that, the Center for Drug Evaluation (“CDE”) of the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) of the People’s Republic of China (the “PRC”) agreed to start the evaluation of the first-in-class novel drug Cadonilimab (PD-1/CTLA-4 bi-specific antibody, research and development code: AK104), which is an immuno-oncology therapy independently developed by the Company, plus platinum-based chemotherapy in combination with/without bevacizumab for a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III clinical trial for first-line treatment of persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer. This is the first phase III clinical trial of dual immunotherapy for first-line treatment of cervical cancer in the PRC.


Recently, the Company successfully held a seminar of this global phase III clinical trial attended by experts and scholars of world-renowned gynecological oncology research institutions from China, the United States, Europe and Australia. The seminar reviewed the current status of cervical cancer treatment in the world, summarized the results of early stage clinical trials of Cadonilimab on several tumor indications, and discussed in detail the framework proposal of the global phase III clinical trial of Cadonilimab.


President & CEO of Akesobio, Michelle Xia, PhD, said, “Cadonilimab has demonstrated exceptional clinical efficacy in early stage clinical trials on cervical cancer. Based on this, the Company will further carry out the global phase III clinical trial for the first-line treatment of cervical cancer, which shows the excellent clinical operation efficiency of the company and will be beneficial to more patients suffering from cervical cancer around the world. The Company believes that Cadonilimab will become the first PD-1/CTLA-4 bi-specific antibody novel drug approved for market launch in the world.”


Because of its satisfactory clinical data, Cadonilimab obtained fast track designation from the Food and Drug Administration of the United States (FDA) for treating patients with recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer after standard therapies in August 2020. Cadonilimab was also approved by the CDE for the inclusion in the “Breakthrough Therapy Designation” list for treating patients with recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer after standard therapies in October 2020. Patient enrollment of the registrational phase II clinical trial of Cadonilimab for the treatment of recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer was completed in January 2021 in the PRC.




Cadonilimab (AK104) is a novel, potential next-generation, first-in-class bi-specific PD-1/ CTLA-4 immuno-oncology backbone drug independently developed by the Company, and its major indications include liver cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, gastric cancer, esophageal squamous cell cancer and nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The preliminary research data of cervical cancer, gastric cancer and other tumors shows that, as compared with the combination therapy of PD-1 and CTLA-4, Cadonilimab has much lower toxicity and demonstrated promising safety profile and efficacy. Our AK104 project has been incorporated in the Major New Drug Innovation Program under the 13th Five-year Plan for Major Technology Project (十 三 五「重 大 新 藥 創 製」科 技 重 大 專 項 支 持 專 案) issued by National Health Commission and Ministry of Science and Technology in 2017 and has been enlisted in the 2017 Pearl River Talent Program of Guangdong Province — Introduction of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Team Support Program (2017 年廣東 省「珠江人才計劃」引進創新創業團隊支持專案). It was also jointly rated by China Medical Biotechnology Association and Chinese Medicinal Biotechnology as one of the 2017 Top Ten Medicinal Biotechnology Advancements in China (2017年中國醫藥生物 技術十大進展).




The Company is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of new innovative antibody drugs that are affordable to patients worldwide. Since the Company’s establishment, the Company has established an end-to-end comprehensive drug development platform (ACE Platform) and system, encompassing fully integrated drug discovery and development functions, including target validation, antibody drug discovery and development, CMC production process development, and GMP compliant scale production. The Company has also successfully developed a bi-specific antibody drug development technology (Tetrabody technology). The Company currently has a pipeline of over 20 innovative drugs for the treatment of major diseases like tumors, autoimmune diseases, inflammation and metabolism diseases, 13 of which have entered clinical stage, including two first-in-class bi-specific antibody drugs (PD-1/CTLA-4 and PD-1/VEGF). The Company’s vision is to become a global leading biopharmaceutical company through research and development (“R&D”) of high efficacy and breakthrough new drugs that are first-in-class and best-in-class therapies.