PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Immune-Onc Therapeutics, Inc. (“Immune-Onc”), a clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company developing novel biotherapeutics targeting immunosuppressive myeloid checkpoints, today announced that the first patient has been dosed in the Company’s first-in-human clinical trial of IO-108, a novel antagonist antibody targeting the myeloid checkpoint Leukocyte Immunoglobulin-Like Receptor B2 (LILRB2, also known as ILT4) for the treatment of solid tumors.
“The first patient dosed in our Phase 1 clinical trial for IO-108 represents a critical milestone in advancing the development and understanding of Immune-Onc’s novel myeloid checkpoint inhibitors targeting the LILRB family of immune inhibitory receptors. We believe our scientific platform holds vast promise and today’s news reflects our commitment to rapidly advancing programs in our portfolio that have the potential to improve outcomes for cancer patients,” said Paul Woodard, MD, chief medical officer of Immune-Onc. “With enrollment now underway, we look forward to reporting top line data next year.”
The Phase 1, multicenter, dose-escalation study will consist of a monotherapy cohort and a combination therapy cohort to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of IO-108 alone and in combination with pembrolizumab, an anti-PD-1 antibody. Biomarkers will be assessed to enable a mechanistic understanding of clinical data and inform future trials. This study may also provide an opportunity to identify preliminary efficacy signals. After determination of the recommended Phase 2 dose, Immune-Onc plans to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of IO-108 in combination with pembrolizumab and as monotherapy in indication-specific expansion cohorts.
IO-108 binds to LILRB2 with high affinity and specificity and blocks the interaction of LILRB2 with multiple ligands that are involved in cancer-associated immune suppression, including HLA-G, ANGPTLs, SEMA4A, and CD1d. In preclinical studies, treatment of various primary human immune cell systems containing myeloid cells with IO-108 results in enhanced pro-inflammatory responses to multiple stimuli that are relevant to anti-tumor immunity. As a single agent, IO-108 reverses the anti-inflammatory myeloid cell phenotype that results from “tumor conditioning” and promotes the differentiation of monocytes into pro-inflammatory dendritic cells. Moreover, IO-108 potentiates the effect of PD-1 blocking antibodies on CD4+ T cell activation in co-cultures with allogeneic macrophages. In mouse models IO-108 inhibits the growth of solid tumors, which is associated with enhanced T cell responses. Together these data demonstrate that IO-108 has the potential to provide additive or synergistic benefit in combination with standard-of-care immunotherapies and/or immunogenic therapies for solid tumors that are both resistant and sensitive to T-cell checkpoint inhibitors.
ABOUT LILRB2 (ILT4)
LILRB2, also known as ILT4, is expressed mostly on myeloid cells, including monocytes, dendritic cells, macrophages, and neutrophils. In solid tumors, interaction of LILRB2 with tumor microenvironment (TME) relevant ligands, including HLA-G, ANGPTLs, SEMA4A, and CD1d, makes myeloid cells pro-tumorigenic (tolerating or promoting tumor growth) and promotes tumor immune evasion.
ABOUT IMMUNE-ONC THERAPEUTICS, INC.
Immune-Onc Therapeutics, Inc. (“Immune-Onc”) is a clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy company dedicated to the discovery and development of novel myeloid checkpoint inhibitors for cancer patients. The company aims to translate unique scientific insights in myeloid cell biology and immune inhibitory receptors to discover and develop first-in-class biotherapeutics that disarm immune suppression in the tumor microenvironment.
Immune-Onc has a promising pipeline with a current focus on targeting the Leukocyte Immunoglobulin-Like Receptor subfamily B (LILRB) of myeloid checkpoints. Immune-Onc’s focused platform approach has led to the development of several promising therapeutics across various stages of development, including IO-108 in Phase 1 clinical development for solid tumors and IO-202, a first-in-class antibody targeting LILRB4 (also known as ILT3), in Phase 1 clinical development for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). The company also plans to evaluate IO-202 in solid tumors. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted IO-202 Orphan Drug Designation for treatment of AML in October 2020. Additional assets in Immune-Onc’s pipeline include IO-106, a first-in-class anti-LAIR1 antibody, and multiple undisclosed programs for solid tumors and hematologic malignancies.
The company has strategic research collaborations with The University of Texas, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and has invested in proprietary models, assays, and tools to interrogate the biology and translate this cutting-edge research into the development of novel therapies. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Immune-Onc has assembled a diverse team with deep expertise in drug development and proven track records of success at leading biotechnology companies. For more information, please visit www.immune-onc.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.