~ A first-in-class anti-CD25 Treg depleting antibody which enables Teff responses for optimal anti-cancer activity ~
London and Stevenage, UK – 18 April 2018: Tusk Therapeutics, an immuno-oncology company focused on developing immune-modulating therapeutics by targeting immune cells in cancer, presented pre-clinical proof-of-concept data generated in collaboration with Cancer Research UK and University College London (UCL), relating to its anti-CD25 programme at the 2018 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR).
Tusk Therapeutics presented data on its first-in-class anti-CD25 programme that has entered pre-clinical development. The antibody depletes regulatory T cells (Tregs) while preserving IL-2 binding and signalling on effector T cells (Teffs). Tusk, together with the University College London research group led by Dr. Sergio Quezada, has shown that targeting Tregs with non-IL-2 blocking anti-CD25 antibodies creates highly potent anti-tumour responses in monotherapy and combination therapy. Proof-of-concept has been established in multiple pre-clinical models.
Tregs, a subpopulation of T cells, are key players in the suppressive tumour microenvironment (TME). Tregs in the TME hinder the body’s ability to control the growth of cancerous cells and their presence is correlated with a worse prognosis in multiple cancers. Effective Treg targeting has been a topic in the cancer field for several years and Tusk’s approach demonstrates it is possible to deplete Tregs in solid tumour which leads to tumour control. Tusk’s antibody is specifically selected to preserve signalling of the IL-2 cytokine on effector cells which is a key regulator of immune-activation.
Commenting on the data, Luc Dochez, Chief Executive Officer of Tusk Therapeutics, said: “The data presented at AACR demonstrate the unique mechanism of action of our anti-CD25 antibody. Unlike existing aCD25 antibodies our antibody has the ability to deplete Tregs without inhibiting effector cell responses. Based on the promising pre-clinical data, we believe that our anti-CD25 candidates will be an ideal combination partner for existing standard of care and immuno-oncology treatments.”
The data was presented as an oral presentation by Dr. Sergio Quezada, Group Leader and Cancer Research UK Senior Research Fellow at The UCL Cancer Institute, and Chairman of Tusk Therapeutics’ Scientific Advisory Board and in two posters, presented by the Tusk and UCL teams. Tusk Therapeutics’ first-in-class anti-CD25 antibody programme was built on novel biology discovered by Tusk Therapeutics in collaboration with Dr. Quezada and his team at UCL. Tusk Therapeutics, Cancer Research UK (via its Commercial Partnerships Team) and UCL announced in 2017, an exclusive licensing and collaboration deal to develop and commercialise antibody-based therapeutics against CD25.
For further information, please contact:
Luc Dochez, Chief Executive Officer
Consilium Strategic Communications
Julia Wilson, Lindsey Neville
+44 (0) 203 709 5708
About Tusk Therapeutics Ltd
Tusk Therapeutics is a privately held immuno-oncology company focused on discovering and developing therapeutic antibodies that harness the power of the immune system to transform the treatment of cancer. The Company has established a diversified pipeline of antibodies against both novel and validated targets that have the potential to address a broad range of solid and haematological cancer indications. The company’s two lead programmes, an immunomodulatory anti-CD38 antibody directed against a novel epitope of the CD38 protein and an anti-CD25 Treg depleting antibody, are in both in pre-clinical development. The Company has strategic partnerships and licensing agreements with top research institutes including Cancer Research Technology, Cancer Research UK’s commercial arm and University College London. For further information about Tusk Therapeutics visit: www.tusktherapeutics.com
About Cancer Research UK’s Commercial Partnerships Team
Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Our specialist Commercial Partnerships Team work closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. The team develop promising ideas into successful cancer therapeutics, software, devices, diagnostics and enabling technologies. This helps to accelerate progress in exciting new discoveries in cancer research and bring new treatments to patients sooner. http://commercial.cancerresearchuk.org/
Cancer Research UK’s commercial activity operates through Cancer Research Technology Ltd. (CRT), a wholly owned subsidiary of Cancer Research UK. It is the legal entity which pursues drug discovery research in themed alliance partnerships and delivers varied commercial partnering arrangements.
About UCL (University College London)
UCL was founded in 1826. We were the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. We are among the world’s top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has over 39,000 students from 150 countries and over 12,500 staff. Our annual income is more than £1 billion.