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Nordic Nanovector publishes results of preclinical study demonstrating Betalutin® reverses tumour resistance to rituximab in NHL disease models

Oslo, Norway, 8 October 2020

Nordic Nanovector ASA (OSE: NANO) announces that its preclinical study investigating the ability of Betalutin® (177Lu-lilotomab satetraxetan) to reverse rituximab-resistance in disease models of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) has been published in the October 2020 issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (M. Malenge et al*).

NHL is the most common blood cancer and has a high mortality rate. The CD20-targeting monoclonal antibody immunotherapy rituximab was approved for treatment of NHL more than 20 years ago and is the current standard of care. However, many patients eventually develop resistance against rituximab, which is often associated with changes (a decrease) in expression of the CD20 antigen on NHL cells.

The study found that:

  • Betalutin® (an anti-CD37 radioimmunoconjugate) acted synergistically with rituximab (anti-CD20 immunotherapy) to suppress tumour growth in a rituximab-resistant xenograft NHL mouse model.
  • The median survival time of mice treated with this combination doubled when compared to survival of mice given Betalutin® monotherapy and was five times longer than for mice given rituximab monotherapy.
  • In NHL cell lines, Betalutin® was found to substantially increase CD20 expression and rituximab binding to rituximab-resistant Raji2R cells and to increase rituximab-mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity, resulting in significant tumor growth delay.

“This work is potentially very important, as it could provide a welcome treatment option for the large pool of NHL patients who have become resistant to rituximab. If those patients receive an injection of Betalutin®, they could be treated again with rituximab and have an improved response,” said Dr Jostein Dahle, Chief Scientific Officer of Nordic Nanovector. “In a Phase 1b clinical trial, a 100 percent complete response rate was achieved in the first group of patients treated with Betalutin® followed by rituximab. Achieving a complete response is very important as it usually correlates with an improved duration of response and overall survival.”

Dr Dahle continued, “Combination treatments are the future for cancer therapy. By exploring strategies with radioimmunotherapy together with other drugs, nuclear medicine may play an important role in lymphoma therapy.”

M. Malenge et al. 177Lu-Lilotomab Satetraxetan has the Potential to Counteract Resistance to Rituximab in Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. J. Nuclear. Med. (2020) 61/10/1468

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About the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNM) is the world’s leading nuclear medicine, molecular imaging and theragnostic journal, accessed close to 10 million times each year by practitioners around the globe, providing them with the information they need to advance this rapidly expanding field. Current and past issues of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine can be found online at

JNM is published by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to advancing nuclear medicine and molecular imaging-precision medicine that allows diagnosis and treatment to be tailored to individual patients in order to achieve the best possible outcomes. For more information, visit

About Nordic Nanovector:

Nordic Nanovector is committed to develop and deliver innovative therapies to patients to address major unmet medical needs and advance cancer care. The Company aspires to become a leader in the development of targeted therapies for haematological cancers. Nordic Nanovector’s lead clinical-stage candidate is Betalutin®, a novel CD37-targeting antibody-radionuclide-conjugate designed to advance the treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). NHL is an indication with substantial unmet medical need, representing a growing market forecast to be worth nearly USD 29 billion by 2026. Nordic Nanovector retains global marketing rights to Betalutin® and intends to actively participate in the commercialisation of Betalutin® in the US and other major markets.

Further information can be found at

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements.  These statements are based on management’s current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances, since they relate to events and depend on circumstances that will occur in the future and which, by their nature, will have an impact on Nordic Nanovector’s business, financial condition and results of operations. The terms “anticipates”, “assumes”, “believes”, “can”, “could”, “estimates”, “expects”, “forecasts”, “intends”, “may”, “might”, “plans”, “should”, “projects”, “targets”, “will”, “would” or, in each case, their negative, or other variations or comparable terminology are used to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not historic facts. There are a number of factors that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause these differences include, but are not limited to, risks associated with implementation of Nordic Nanovector’s strategy, risks and uncertainties associated with the development and/or approval of Nordic Nanovector’s product candidates, ongoing and future clinical trials and expected trial results, the ability to commercialise Betalutin®, technology changes and new products in Nordic Nanovector’s potential market and industry, Nordic Nanovector’s freedom to operate (competitors patents) in respect of the products it develops, the ability to develop new products and enhance existing products, the impact of competition, changes in general economy and industry conditions, and legislative, regulatory and political factors. No assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Nordic Nanovector disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

This information is subject to a duty of disclosure pursuant to Sections 4-2 and 5-12 of the Securities Trading Act.