Stem Cell Therapeutics Advances CD47 Antagonist Program into Ind-Enabling Phase
News Sep 09, 2013
In collaboration with a contract manufacturing organization, Stem Cell Therapeutics (SCT) will begin the manufacturing process to generate drug for formal toxicology studies and a subsequent phase I clinical study, which is anticipated to begin in H2/2015.
SCT’s program targets the activity of CD47, a molecule upregulated on many leukemias and solid tumors. CD47 delivers a “do not eat” signal that suppresses macrophage phagocytosis, allowing cancer cells, including cancer stem cells, to escape immunemediated destruction. SCT has chosen to block the CD47 protein using a modified version of its natural ligand, SIRPα, fused to an immunoglobulin Fc region. The SIRPαFc fusion protein has shown excellent anti-leukemic activity both in vitro and in human xenograft models, and exhibits a unique binding profile compared to other CD47 blocking agents. These results, as well as encouraging safety data emerging from a recently completed non-human primate study, will be reported at a future scientific conference.
“We believe that SIRPαFc, through its ability to activate the innate immune response and eliminate cancer stem cells, holds great promise as a novel immunotherapy,” commented Dr. Niclas Stiernholm. “The transition from the research to the IND-enabling phase is a key milestone for the SIRPαFc program, and we will continue on the path towards clinical testing”.
In new studies a novel oxygen-delivery therapeutic restored the function of oxygen-starved heart tissue in an animal model of global hypoxia. Unlike its experimental predecessors, the new drug does not appear to cause systemic side effects or overcorrect with excessive blood oxygenation, which can itself be toxic. Instead, the new drug delivers its precious oxygen cargo only to the tissues that need it most.READ MORE