U.S. FDA puts early-stage trial of Neoleukin potential cancer treatment on hold

Jan 8 (Reuters) - Neoleukin Therapeutics Inc said on Friday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has put on hold the drug developer’s application to start human trials of its protein-based candidate, NL-201, to treat cancer.

The company’s shares tumbled 20.6% to $12.5 before the bell after the agency asked the company to develop a new assay that more precisely measures the amount of protein being administered.

“We will be able to develop the requested assay and respond within the next several months,” said Jonathan Drachman, chief executive officer.

The company’s lead treatment is a cancer immunotherapy, designed to expand cancer-fighting CD8 T-cells and natural killer cells. (Reporting by Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)