Atonco, a French biotechnology company, and University of Michigan today announced a collaborative agreement to conduct a Phase 1-2a clinical study evaluating Atonco’s ATO-101™ ([211At] At-anti-CA-IX antibody) targeted alpha therapy candidate in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

Bladder cancer ranks among the most prevalent cancers globally, standing at the 10th position overall and the 6th most common in men. In 2020, it accounted for over 573,000 incident cases and approximately 212,000 deaths around the world.

While Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) therapy is the standard of care, it fails in approximately 40% of cases leading to consequential radical bladder ablation procedures and while more recent therapies, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors, have entered the clinic realm, more options are needed.

Atonco’s ATO-101™ ([211At] At-anti-CA-IX antibody) is a targeted radiopharmaceutical composed of the alpha-emitting radionuclide astatine-211 (211At) conjugated with the CAIX specific monoclonal antibody Girentuximab (TLX250) designed to deliver the radioisotope to target cancer cells.

The study will be led by Benjamin Viglianti, MD, PhD in collaboration with Peter Scott, PhD.  “The transformative potential of targeted radiopharmaceutical therapies in the field of cancer treatment is substantial as these therapies have the ability to deliver radiation directly and specifically to cancer cells, potentially reducing the risk of complications as compared to traditional BCG therapy in our clinical study” notes Viglianti, Nuclear Medicine Clinical Service Chief at University of Michigan.

We are thrilled to partner with the University of Michigan and leverage their world-class expertise in radiopharmaceutical clinical research towards discovering the safety and activity profile of ATO-101™. Atonco’s team will include Mrs. Aurélie Moreau and Mr. Denis Bilodeau, a seasoned clinical research expert who is guiding our clinical team for North America and Europe.” said Jean-François Chatal, MD, founder and Chief Medical Officer of Atonco.

The Phase 1-2a trial will be conducted at the University of Michigan and will involve a number of satellite sites. The study is expected to begin enrollment in the coming months once the FDA has cleared the study design.



Atonco is a privately held French company developing molecularly targeted radiopharmaceuticals for oncology applications. The company is dedicated to the clinical use of astatine-211, an alpha-emitting radionuclide, to treat cancer.

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University of Michigan is a leading public research university committed to advancing knowledge and solving complex challenges. The university’s world-class faculty and state-of-the-art facilities make it a premier destination for cutting-edge medical research and clinical trials.

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  1. Bladder cancer statistics: World cancer research fund international. WCRF International. (2022, April 14).

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