Oncology

Tumor Associated Macrophages (TAMs) stimulate key steps of tumor progression and poor prognosis in solid tumors

  • Macrophages are a type of white blood cell that are programmed to either activate the immune system to fight cancer cells (M1 macrophages) or to inactivate the immune system and promote tumor growth (M2 macrophages)
  • M2 macrophages infiltrate certain tumor types (the tumor microenvironment) and suppress natural immune responses that would otherwise eradicate the tumor (macrophage checkpoints);
  • Additional tumor-promoting functions of TAMs include:
    • Promote angiogenesis
    • Help the escape of cancer cells into circulation
    • Promote the survival and persistent growth into metastatic cells

We have designed and optimized HDTs that precisely target M2 tumor associated macrophages with high uptake efficiency

We have designed HDTs that can cross the blood brain barrier and target M2 macrophages and microglia in glioblastoma and brain metastases models

Glioblastoma Orthotopic Tumor Model in Rat

Single Intravenous injection of HD-Cy5

Highly selective for reactive cells (macrophage) – confirmed by FACS

MOLT-4 luc cells injected IV and form brain metastases after 30 days

HD-Cy5 injected IV and animal sacrificed 24 hr later

We are developing immuno-oncology HD therapeutics in serious unmet needs leveraging our ability to alter the phenotypes of M2 tumor associated macrophages.  We believe that our HD therapeutics will have superior performance characteristics to comparable class equivalent drugs, including:

  • Increased therapeutic window to provide for greater efficacy
  • Superior safety profile with limited to no off-target toxicity
  • Longer duration of action within the tumor microenvironment, reducing drug resistance and extending therapeutic effect