IO Biotech Announces First Patient Dosed in Phase 2 Trial in Head and Neck Cancer Conducted in a Collaboration with Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc in Belgium

Nov 04 2020

Copenhagen, Denmark – November 4, 2020: IO Biotech, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel, immune modulating anti-cancer therapies based on its proprietary T-win® technology, announced that the first patient has received the first dose in a Phase 2 study (HN1901) investigating activity and safety of peptide-based immunotherapy in the preoperative setting for in-patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). The study is being conducted in collaboration with Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc in Brussels and is designed as an umbrella trial enabling the testing of several of IO Biotech’s compounds after initial testing of IO102 in a monotherapy setting.

“We are very happy to start this interesting study that will help us to improve our knowledge in immunotherapy for head and neck cancer patients,” said Professor Jean-Pascal Machiels, MD, PhD.

“We are excited to start this collaboration led by Professor Jean-Pascal Machiels from Institut Roi albert II Cancer Center of Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc in Brussels,” said Mai-Britt Zocca, PhD, Chief Executive Officer and founder at IO Biotech. “This study will enable IO Biotech to further validate our technology in a new indication, SCCHN, and broaden our scope to a third indication within solid tumors beyond non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and melanoma.”

IO Biotech’s lead candidate, IO102, is an Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) derived immune modulating therapy with a dual mode of action-killing both cancer cells and immune-suppressive cells. IO Biotech’s IDO-derived immune modulating therapies have previously demonstrated both a favorable safety profile and promising anti-tumor activity in its first human clinical trial of heavily pre-treated patients with NSCLC.

About the Study
is an open-label, randomized, Phase 2, window of opportunity trial investigating immunological changes in tumor and antitumor activity of vaccine-based immunotherapy in the pre-operative setting of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). This clinical trial is planned to sequentially test IO Biotech’s proprietary immune modulatory vaccines as monotherapy and as multi antigene vaccines at the Cliniques universitaires Saint-Luc in Brussels.

Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) is one of the most common tumor types worldwide and accounts for more than 550,000 new cases and 380,000 deaths per year. The five-year survival rate for patients suffering from locally advanced head and neck cancer is estimated between 40 and  60 percent depending on the anatomical location of the primary tumor.
IO Biotech is currently conducting studies with T-Win® compounds in combination with Pembrolizumab and Nivolumab, both of which are approved for SCCHN.

About T-win® Technology Platform
IO Biotech’s proprietary T-win technology platform enables identification of compounds with a dual mechanism of action targeting and directly killing immunosuppressive cells and tumor cells while indirectly activating other T-effectors, leading to strong anti-tumor responses.  The company’s compounds are administered as “off-the-shelf” subcutaneous injections, distinguishing these treatments from many immuno-oncology therapies.

About IO Biotech 
IO Biotech is a clinical stage biotech company developing disruptive immune therapies for the treatment of cancer. The pipeline of first-in-class immune modulating anti-cancer therapies is developed by a unique technology platform, T-win®, enabling the activation of T cells that are specific for immune-suppressive molecules. IO Biotech has a proven track record of progressing preclinical and clinical compounds. The two lead compounds targeting IDO and PD-L1 are in clinical development and several pipeline compounds are in pre-clinical phase. For further information, please visit

Mai-Britt Zocca, PhD, CEO and founder of IO Biotech       E-mail: