Yesterday, we started the first of a multi-part mini series on STING agonism with a quick look at the broad landscape and some of the competitors in this space, which has definitely grown over the last four years since we first wrote about the STING/cGAS pathway.
In the latest part of the STING series, we talk to a small, privately held biotech who are developing a slightly different approach to the first generation agonists currently in early phase clinical trials.
One goal that many are looking at with STING agonism is to try and take less inflamed tumours and turn them into inflamed ones (or cold to hot in layman’s parlance).
We also need strategies for adding those middling tumours that are neither purely inflamed nor non-inflamed i.e. immune excluded and may have other factors influencing their tumour microenvironment, which is something else we also discuss in the interview.
No one would ever describe the trials and tribulations of oncology R&D as a cakewalk, there are certainly plenty of challenges to address on the discovery, preclinical, and even clinical front before we even get to consider the financial need to raise money, pharma collaborations and (hopefully), eventual commercialisation post approval. It can be a wild roller coaster ride at the best of times.
We have an agnostic approach to cancer drug development and cover small and large companies in equal measure.
So what can we learn from the first of the next generation STING agonist companies?