Continuing our cytokine series, we now switch horses from a creative new therapeutic utilising red blood cells that Rubius Therapeutics are pioneering to a very different technology involving synthetic amino acids, in what is known as a ‘Not Alpha’ IL–2 approach from Synthorx.
We have covered new developments in IL–2 based cytokines from Roche and Nektar previously, so what’s cool about the alternative early development that is THOR–707?
To find out, we conducted an expert interview with Synthorx’s Dr Laura Shawver and learned some fascinating details about their novel platform that is sending new molecules into the clinic in the very near future.
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One thing has become very clear in the oncology space over the last year… checkpoint inhibitors are insufficient on their own for the vast majority of tumour types and patients that they have been explored in to date. There are a number of reasons for this, but the main one is lack of T cells in the tumour, which enable an effective immune response to be mounted.
This begs the question – how can we address that issue and manipulate the tumour microenvironment in our favour, thereby making subsequent checkpoint blockade more effective?
There are a number of different ways to do this.
In the past, we’ve discussed several methods including innate immunotherapies such as Aduro’s STING or Biothera’s immunotherapeutic, Imprime PGG. Other approaches include vaccines, which we have discussed in detail, t-cell receptors (TCR) or even monoclonal antibodies, such as AdaptImmune’s approach with their ImmTac technology.
There are other novel strategies currently being investigated by numerous companies too.
In this article – and also the second part of the latest miniseries – which will post tomorrow, we straddle our final reviews of interesting data from the European Cancer Conference (ECC) in Vienna with the upcoming one from the Society of Immunotherapy for Cancer (SITC) being held in National Harbor, Maryland.
Today’s post explores the concept of immunocytokines, engineered antibodies that are designed to boost the immune system, so that subsequent therapies will be more effective.
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