Cancer immunotherapy provides unprecedented new approaches for cancer treatment. Bi-specific antibodies (eg BiTE) and engineered T cells (eg Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cells (CAR T)) show the greatest activity, with both triggering T cell mediated killing of cancer cells and complete response rates as high as ~90% in B cell malignancies. However, applying these two therapeutic approaches to the vast majority of cancer types is restricted by multiple factors. First, there are only a small number of known cell-surface proteins that are sufficiently specific to cancer to safely allow targeting by antibodies. This is particularly true for solid cancers, where unlike hematopoietic malignancies; loss of healthy cells cannot be readily replenished by stem cell progenitors. Second, as each individual bi-specific protein and/or CAR T cell only targets a single cancer type, different bi-specific and/or CAR T cells will need to be developed for each cancer indication. This greatly increases development time and costs. Third, neither therapy is able to effectively target the most abundant and widely expressed cell surface cancer antigens known, namely Tumor associated carbohydrate antigens (TACA’s). Thus, immune therapeutics targeting a common antigen present in multiple cancers that has limited or no expression in normal tissue remains a major unmet Many cancer specific antigens are not proteins, but rather complex carbohydrates (TACA’s). Indeed, altered glycosylation is a near universal feature of cancer. As virtually all cell surface proteins are glycosylated, with each protein having multiple glycans, TACA’s provide the most abundant and widespread cell surface cancer antigens known, with target density up to ~100-1000 fold greater than typical proteins. However, generation of effective monoclonal antibodies specific to complex carbohydrates has proven to be very challenging, greatly limiting their usefulness as targets for cancer immunotherapy. GlyTR (pronounced ‘glitter’) is a disruptive immunotherapy platform technology that overcomes the shortcomings of current immunotherapies by effectively targeting TACA’s without the use of antibodies. The two lead GlyTR therapies (GlyTR1 and GlyTR2) target TACA’s that are common to the vast majority of cancer types and critical to cancer growth and metastasis. GlyTR1 and GlyTR2 both trigger T cell dependent killing of blood cancers and solid tumors without killing of normal leukocytes. GlyTR platform technology can generate multiple distinct bi-specific proteins and CAR T cells that target TACA’s common to both blood cancers and solid tumors. Unique Value Propositions 1. Entire new class – GlyTR platform will create an entire new class of Immunotherapies. 2. Wide applicability – GlyTR targets cancer antigens common to the vast majority of cancer types. 3. First in class advantage –. GlyTR does not depend on an engineered antibody to bind its cancer antigens. 4. Significant Barriers to Entry – GlyTR targets TACA’s not effectively targetable with antibodies. 5. One GlyTR for many cancers – greatly reduces time and cost of development. 6. Multiple different TACA’s can be targeted – potential for combination therapy. 7. Customized treatment – can be developed based on phenotyping a patient’s tumor.
Primary Industry Sector: Medical Therapeutics
Funding Status: Series A