We are pursuing additional opportunities to further broaden our preclinical product pipeline, including internal discovery programs. We plan to out-license two of these oncology antibody programs, IL-2 and PTH1R, to fund our endocrine efforts.
Immune checkpoint inhibitors are transforming cancer treatment and revitalizing interest in immunotherapies. While efficacy has been observed in patients with advanced metastatic disease treated with checkpoint inhibitors, not all patients respond, and most responses are incomplete. Preclinical studies suggest that combining additional modalities with checkpoint inhibitors will provide opportunities to improve patient outcomes.
IL-2 has long been recognized as an effective therapy for metastatic melanoma and renal cell carcinoma, but it has serious dose-limiting toxicities that prevent broad clinical use. We generated novel antibodies that, when given with IL-2, are intended to steer IL-2 to enhance its positive impact with less toxicity, potentially improving the therapeutic index over standard IL-2 therapy.
A poster highlighting preclinical data from the IL-2 monoclonal antibodies program was presented at The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 31st Annual Meeting & Associated Programs.
We have developed several unique functional antibody antagonists targeting PTH1R, a G-protein-coupled receptor involved in the regulation of calcium metabolism. These antibodies have shown promising efficacy in in vivo studies and could potentially address high unmet medical needs, including primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) and humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy (HHM).
Our PTH1R program began as an endocrine program, but its mechanism-of-action is potentially also beneficial to patients suffering from HHM. HHM is present in many advanced cancers and is caused by high serum calcium due to increased levels of the PTH1R ligand PTH-related peptide (PTHrP). Since current HHM treatments often fall short and many cancer patients die from ‘metabolic death’, our PTH1R antibodies could be very beneficial for the treatment of HHM.
We have identified PTH1R inhibitors and are in the process of attempting to identify a lead compound to move into pre-clinical testing. We plan to present pre-clinical data at upcoming scientific conferences.