LEXINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ImmuneXcite, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing a new generation of innate and adaptive immune-activating therapies for cancer, today announced new preclinical data demonstrating that its mAbXcite platform sets into motion an immune cascade that successfully recruits T-cells to mount a natural, precise and potent attack against cancer in preclinical models of treatment-resistant colorectal and breast cancers. These data were presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2015.
“ImmuneXcite’s approach has the potential to generate precise and potent therapies for patients with a range of solid tumors who currently have no or limited treatment options,” said Yaniv Bejerano, ImmuneXcite Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder. “Because of the novel mechanism of action, this approach could also be used in combination with other targeted therapies and immune-oncology drugs, which is widely believed to be critical to the future of cancer treatment.”
The mAbXcite platform represents a fundamentally new approach in the quickly growing field of cancer immunotherapy, applying ImmuneXcite’s discoveries in fungal biology to trigger a natural and lasting immune attack on cancer cells. By attaching a fungal sugar known as beta-1,6-glucan to antibodies that seek out and bind to tumor cells, mAbXcite therapies recruit neutrophils, the first responders of the immune system, to cancer cells. The neutrophils then recruit other immune cells, including T-cells, to mount a robust, targeted and lasting immune attack.
“The power of this approach rests in the fact that it triggers the body’s natural defenses much earlier in the immune cascade than other cancer immunotherapy approaches,” said Ifat Rubin-Bejerano, Ph.D., ImmuneXcite Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder. “It taps into the natural selectivity of our immune system, as well as its ability to develop immune memory, potentially offering therapies that can effectively attack cancer cells while sparing healthy ones and fend off recurrences of the cancer.”
The preclinical data presented at AACR provides clear evidence for the first time that T-cells are recruited and activated by mAbxcite therapies to attack cancer cells. Key findings of this research include:
- mAbXcite-trastuzumab inhibits tumor growth in treatment-resistant models of breast cancer
- mAbXcite-cetuximab inhibits tumor growth in treatment-resistant models of colorectal cancer
- Mice that responded to treatment with mAbXcite-cetuximab did not develop new tumors when colorectal cancer cells were reintroduced, demonstrating the development of immune memory and a lasting immune response
- When T cells were artificially depleted from mice who had responded to treatment with mAbXcite-cetuximab, tumor growth quickly accelerated, providing evidence that T-cells had been successfully recruited and were mounting an effective attack on the cancer cells
In additional studies performed in collaboration with Elizabeth Jaffee, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Co-Director of the Gastrointestinal Cancers Program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Associate Director for Translational Research at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, and Todd Armstrong, Ph.D., Research Associate at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the mAbXcite platform was also tested in mice with fully intact immune systems (syngeneic model), showing that:
- Neutrophils successfully infiltrated the immune-suppressive tumor microenvironment
- Macrophages, another key player in the immune cascade, were recruited to the tumor
- Cytotoxic CD8 T-cells were then recruited and activated to attack the tumor
ImmuneXcite is a privately held biotech company based in Lexington, Mass., that is developing the next generation of immune-activating biotherapeutics for cancer using a fundamentally novel innate and adaptive immunotherapy platform. The company’s mAbXcite platform recruits neutrophils, the first responders of the immune system, to mount a natural, potent and precise attack on cancer cells. ImmuneXcite has two lead drug candidates, based on its mAbXcite platform, for cancers with high unmet medical needs. This bold concept has been recognized and supported by the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center, the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Massachusetts Life Science Center, the National Cancer Institute and private investors.