Preclinical data from a new-generation checkpoint inhibitor, Effi-DEM, targeting myeloid derived suppressor cells and tumor associated macrophages (TAMs) will be presented next month by OSE Immunotherapeutics at the Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors conference Nov. 16-18 in Munich, Germany.
Myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and TAMs are two types of immune cells found inside the vast majority of solid tumors. Although both MDSCs and macrophages are involved in the regulation of immune responses and in tissue repair in healthy individuals, these cells can be co-opted by tumor cells and start exerting suppressor functions, preventing other effector cells from attacking malignant cells.
In addition to their immune suppressor functions, TAMs are also involved in tumor growth and the process of cancer metastasis.
Effi-DEM is a monoclonal antibody that blocks the generation of these pro-tumor suppressor cells and restores their effector function by blocking the SIRP-alpha receptor, which is strongly expressed by both MDSCs and TAMs.
Effi-DEM may be used in combination with other immunotherapies, such as checkpoint inhibitors acting on T lymphocytes, including checkpoint inhibitors targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 axis or products triggering a stimulation of the immune system.
Proof of concept preclinical data to be presented at the upcoming conference by Bruce Vanhove, OSE Immunotherapeutics’ chief operating officer, shows that Effi-DEM increased survival in several clinical models of primary liver cancer (hepatocarcinoma), melanoma, and triple negative breast cancer.
The data shows that Effi-DEM itself is effective in restoring the normal activity of the immune system with a long-lasting effect, both alone and in combination with anti-PD-L1 (checkpoint inhibitors) and anti-CD137 (4-1BB). Both PD-L1 and CD137 inhibitors are activators of the T-cell response.
According to the company, Effi-DEM has the potential to be used in all cancers involving TAMs and MDSCs, key cells in the progression of inflammatory cancers.
“These preclinical results validate the therapeutic potential of our new generation checkpoint inhibitor Effi-DEM in immuno-oncology, and show how the product enhances immune response by targeting novel checkpoint SIRP-α/CD 47 pathway,” Dominique Costantini, CEO of OSE, said in a press release.
“OSE Immunotherapeutics is at the forefront of this new immuno-oncology area and clearly focuses in developing such an innovative product,” Costantini said.