We have discovered four novel potential immunomodulatory proteins, distinct from B7/CD28-like proteins, which can serve as target candidates for cancer immunotherapy. Initial experimental results for one of these have been disclosed, while the testing of the additional three candidates is ongoing.
Initial results for one of the candidates show that overexpression of the protein in human melanoma cells inhibits the activity of tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) which are known to play a major role in anti-tumor immune responses. In addition, this candidate showed expression on epithelial cancer cells and tumor immune infiltrating cells, primarily in tumor associated macrophages (TAMs), of various cancer types, including lung, breast, liver, brain and gastric. The candidate also showed expression in other malignancies, such as melanoma and lymphoma.
These candidates are currently progressing through our therapeutically focused validation process.