Biothera Pharmaceuticals Presents Preclinical Data Showing Imprime PGG Activates Natural Killer Cell-Mediated Tumor Killing
Data Presented at AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference
EAGAN, MN — October 30, 2017 — Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today the presentation of new preclinical findings showing that the Company’s Phase 2 cancer immunotherapy Imprime PGG activates Natural Killer (NK) cell-mediated killing of cancer cells. The data were presented at the ongoing AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics: Discovery, Biology, and Clinical Applications, taking place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
Cancer cells can evade T cell-mediated killing by down-regulating expression of MHC class 1, a critical cell surface molecule involved in antigen presentation. This down-regulation of MHC class 1 may be a key mechanism by which tumors evade newer T cell-based immunotherapies, such as checkpoint inhibitor therapies. MHC class 1 deficient cells are highly susceptible to killing by NK cells. Biothera’s new data have demonstrated that Imprime PGG treatment can trigger NK-mediated killing in multiple in vivo models and therefore may be able to target this evasive mechanism in cancer cells.
“These new data further expand and extend our understanding of Imprime PGG’s therapeutic mechanism of action,” said Jeremy Graff, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President, Research, for Biothera Pharmaceuticals. “Imprime PGG’s activation of NK cells may be particularly important to establishing a robust, coordinated anti-cancer immune response.”
Imprime PGG is a pathogen associated molecular pattern (PAMP) molecule that can drive activation of the innate immune system ultimately culminating in enhanced T cell activation, which is critical for the anti-cancer efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies. Imprime PGG is currently being evaluated in multiple Phase 2 studies in combination with Keytruda® (pembrolizumab), Merck’s immune checkpoint inhibitor antibody.
The Company’s poster is entitled, Imprime PGG, a soluble yeast β-glucan PAMP, activates both innate and adaptive immune effector cells, resulting in enhanced antitumor responses that synergize with anti-PD-1 antibody therapy. First author: Steven Leonardo. Abstract: B9.
About Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Biothera Pharmaceuticals is a privately held clinical stage immune-oncology company developing Imprime PGG, a Phase 2 cancer immunotherapy that has been shown in preclinical studies to enhance the efficacy of anti-cancer immune responses in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitor, tumor-targeting and anti-angiogenic antibodies. Biothera Pharmaceuticals has clinical research agreements with Merck to evaluate Imprime PGG and KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), Merck’s anti-PD-1 antibody, in Phase 2 studies in advanced melanoma, metastatic triple negative breast cancer, and head and neck squamous cell cancer. This therapeutic combination is also being evaluated in a Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium Phase 1b/2 trial for patients with non-small cell lung cancer.
Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.