SHENZHEN, China, April 29, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Shenzhen IONOVA Life Science Co., Ltd. announces today it has entered into a clinical trial collaboration agreement with MSD (Merck & Co., Inc.,  Kenilworth, NJ., USA) to evaluate clinical benefits of INV-1120, IONOVA’s EP4 antagonist, in combination with MSD’s anti-PD-1 therapy, KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) for cancer treatment.

Under this agreement, IONOVA will conduct a Phase 1b study in the US to evaluate the safety and efficacy of INV-1120 combined with KEYTRUDA® for the treatment of selected advanced solid tumors.

According to Dr. Yongkui Sun, CEO of IONOVA and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, “We are pleased to collaborate with MSD to evaluate INV-1120 in combination with KEYTRUDA® for the treatment of advanced solid tumors. IONOVA has previously demonstrated that INV-1120 not only has mono therapeutic anti-cancer efficacy, but also exhibits strong additive anti-cancer benefits in combination with anti-PD-1 therapy in preclinical solid tumor models. We are excited now that the clinical collaboration with MSD enables us to evaluate the clinical benefits of INV-1120 in combination with KEYTRUDA® for certain cancer patients.”

KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ, USA.

About INV-1120

INV-1120 is a highly potent, highly selective, and orally available EP4 antagonist designed to modulate the tumor microenvironment. EP4 antagonist has shown to increase T cell infiltration and regulate macrophage functions in tumors, contributing to increased anti-tumor immune responses in preclinical tumor models. INV-1120 is currently in Phase I clinical trials in the US and in China.


IONOVA is a clinical-stage biotech company focused on the discovery and development of innovative cancer medicines especially targeted- and immuno-therapies.

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Source: Shenzhen IONOVA Life Science Co., Ltd.