Immunotherapy Agent Shows Potential to Inhibit Tumor Growth in Lymphoma Models

Immunotherapy Agent Shows Potential to Inhibit Tumor Growth in Lymphoma Models

Surface Oncology recently announced promising outcomes of its immunotherapy agent SRF231, a human CD47 antibody, in clearance of tumor cells both alone and when combined with other cancer drugs. SRF231 also demonstrated encouraging results in inhibiting tumor growth in lymphoma models.

Details of this data were presented at the 58th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, in San Diego, Calif., Dec. 3-6.

Humans are affected by more than 100 cancers, all of which share characteristics involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to spread to other body parts in a process called metastasis. Lymphoma is a cancer that affects the white blood cells of the immune system, which under genetic and/or environmental circumstances, divide uncontrollably to form tumors in different body parts such as the lymph nodes, bone marrow and spleen.

Immunotherapy aimed at stimulating the immune system to fight and destroy tumor cells has been one of the most promising approaches in the long campaign to eradicate cancer, including lymphoma. A number of immunotherapy agents such as Surface Oncology’s SRF231 have been tested so far. SRF231 is unique in that it is of human origin, which may offer therapeutic advantages over non-human synthetic immunotherapy agents.

A number of tumors utilize CD47 as an immune escape mechanism, which serves as a signal macrophage checkpoint based on the concept of “don’t eat me,” protecting tumor cells from being ingested by the immune cells in a process called phagocytosis. This makes CD47 a potential target for developing cancer therapies.

Previous data by Surface Oncology presented at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer’s annual meeting proved that SRF231 had a very potent ability to bind to CD47, and was shown to have both aspects of anti-tumor activity in vitro as well as a promising safety profile.

The recent findings to be presented at ASH revealed that SRF231 has improved tumor elimination properties both alone and in combination with other antibodies, including anti-CD20 Ab. Furthermore, SRF231 significantly inhibits tumor growth in myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma models. These encouraging data made SRF231 a suitable candidate for clinical trials that are expected to begin in 2017.

“These data highlight the strong anti-tumor activity of SRF231 in hematological disease models,” said Vito Palombella, PhD, chief scientific officer at Surface Oncology, in a company press release, “and further suggest that SRF231 has the potential to be the best-in-class CD47 antibody to help patients with a wide range of cancers.”

Surface Oncology is an immuno-oncology company working toward developing next-generation immunotherapies targeting the tumor microenvironment. Its partnership with Novartis since 2016 is expected to bring four next-generation immunotherapies to patients.

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Malika Ammam received her MS degree from the University of Pierre et Marie CURIE in July 2002 and her PhD from the University of Paris Sud XI, France in September 2005. From 2006 to 2007, she worked as a research fellow at the University of Kansas in collaboration with Pinnacle Technology Inc. (USA). From 2007 to 2010, she was a research associate at KU Leuven, Belgium. From 2010 to 2012, she worked at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in collaboration with Alcohol Countermeasure Systems Corporation, Canada. She held a prestigious Rosalind Franklin fellowship and resigned in 2015. Now, she is a freelancer.

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