NEXT Oncology and MediLink Team Up on Phase 1 Clinical Trial


DATE: October 9, 2023

Contact:  Lisa Owens, 210-601-6647

NEXT Oncology and MediLink Therapeutics Take “Team Approach” to

Next Level on Phase 1 First in Human Clinical Trial in San Antonio

(SAN ANTONIO, TX and CAMBRIDGE, MA) October 9, 2023 –– MediLink Therapeutics and NEXT Oncology are collaborating on a Phase 1 First in Human Clinical trial for an antibody drug conjugate (ADC) that shows great promise to mitigate solid tumor cancer with an innovative approach to teamwork. 

The phase 1 study, which measures both dosing and safety, is examining MediLink’s YL201 ADC platform and its ability to reduce or stabilize tumors that have not responded to currently approved treatments.

With this cancer study, the two organizations  are changing the way that sponsors (MediLink Therapeutics) and research organizations (NEXT Oncology) work together to intentionally maximize the benefits of collaboration and shorten drug development time to bring therapies to patients in need faster.

As the trial proceeds, the companies dialogue on patient progress and outcomes instantaneously, so there is a real time exchange of information and a tight collaboration that is atypical in most research / sponsor relationships. In addition, there is a “bench to bedside and back” approach using proprietary, curated technology which further enables both teams to shorten the timeline of drug development with real-time sharing of information (e.g., portal for physicians to access). 

The structure of this clinical trial represents the best in research and sponsor execution with collaborative strategies and ongoing dialogues designed to keep all lines of communication open and transparent as the trial proceeds.

MediLink’s YL201 antibody drug conjugate could hold the potential to improve the quality of life of patients, with a higher efficacy and fewer toxic side effects when compared to other therapeutics. The first in human trial kicked off in June of 2022 and NEXT Oncology has treated five patients so far. MediLink Therapeutics intends to expand its collaboration with NEXT Oncology as the company’s future drug TMALIN platforms are ready to come to clinic. 

Mission-focused care defines the relationship with a shared dedication to solve cancer for the benefit of patients everywhere – shortened timelines, true  collaboration and real time information exchange demonstrates this.

 “We selected NEXT Oncology for our study in South Texas because of their deep experience in ADCs, and capabilities with first in human Phase 1 trials,” comments Sasha Stann, MediLink’s Senior Director of Clinical Operations and Project Management.  “We have been amazed at the way this program is unfolding as NEXT Oncology keeps us informed every step of the way and the collaboration is at a level we’ve rarely seen. With partners like NEXT, we will solve cancer together.” 

Dr. Sharon Wilks, a Medical Oncologist with NEXT Oncology commented, “The patient I treated with the YL201 therapy has been pleased at the results thus far, with meaningful resolution of her pain and disease control.”  

“We are on a mission to solve cancer, and when traditional therapies don’t provide results, we are the NEXT Option in care,” Dr. Anthony Tolcher, NEXT Oncology’s CEO and Founder stated. “Being able to have a hand in this promising drug platform, delivering this opportunity to patients in South Texas and working with the team at MediLink Therapeutics is the exemplification of our shared mission.”  

About MediLink Therapeutics

MediLink Therapeutics is a new concept antibody drug conjugate (ADC) company and has built a differentiated proprietary Tumor Microenvironment Activable LINker (TMALIN) ADC technology platform. It generates homogeneous DAR8 ADC products with potential to resolve drug resistance issues of current ADC products. Headquartered in Suzhou, China and established R&D centers in Shanghai and Cambridge, MA. MediLink Therapeutics focuses its clinical drug development on unmet medical needs and plans to further expand into new disease areas to serve global patients.

About NEXT Oncology NEXT Oncology is dedicated to the development of new anticancer agents for patients whose current cancer therapy is no longer working to benefit them and are looking for their next option. NEXT Oncology is partnered with  Texas Oncology, the largest private oncology practice in the United States with more than 400 referring medical oncologists. Texas Oncology is a practice within The US Oncology Network, a network of independent, community-based oncologists in the U.S. This formidable size and reach provide NEXT Oncology unprecedented opportunities to transform what has come to be expected from clinical trials of new agents.