CDX-014 is an antibody-drug conjugate directed against TIM-1, a surface marker highly expressed in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and ovarian carcinoma. This phase I, first-in-human trial was conducted to evaluate the safety and preliminary activity of CDX-014 in patients with advanced refractory RCC, following a dose-escalation and dose expansion design. CDX-014 was administered intravenously at doses ranging from 0.15 to 2.0 mg/kg every 2 or 3 weeks until progression or unacceptable toxicity. Sixteen patients received at least one dose of CDX-014. The maximum tolerated dose was not identified. Most frequent adverse grade 1 or 2 adverse events included nausea (38%), fatigue, alopecia, elevation of AST and decreased appetite (25% each). Adverse events of grade 3 or more included hyperglycemia (19%), urosepsis (6%), and one multi-organ failure (6%) responsible for one treatment-related death. Two patients discontinued therapy for adverse events including fatigue grade 2 and urosepsis grade 4. CDX-014 showed antitumor activity with one prolonged partial response and a clinical benefit rate (objective response or stable disease >6 months) of 31%. The two patients that exhibited the most marked tumor shrinkage had high TIM-1 expression on tumor tissue. Overall, CDX-014 exhibited a manageable toxicity profile and early signs of activity, supporting further evaluation of antibody-drug conjugates in patients with advanced RCC and potentially other TIM-1 expressing cancers. Trial registration NCT02837991; July 20, 2016.