TORONTO, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire/ - Trillium Therapeutics Inc. (TTI), a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative immune-based biologics, today announced that preliminary results from its cancer stem cell program, targeting the CD47 protein, will be reported in an oral presentation at the 52nd American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting to be held in Orlando, Florida, December 4-7, 2010. The presentation, entitled "Acute Myeloid Leukemia Stem Cells Escape Innate Immune Surveillance by Macrophages through Interaction with SIRPa", will take place at 2:45 PM on Monday December 6 in room 308. The work was conducted in the laboratories of Trillium collaborators Drs. John Dick and Jean Wang at University Health Network, and Dr. Jayne Danska at The Hospital for Sick Children, in Toronto, Ontario, and will be presented by Dr. Alexandre Theocharides.
Over expression of CD47 by leukemic stem cells is thought to deliver an inhibitory signal through the SIRPa receptor on macrophages, allowing the cancer cells to escape phagocytosis. Trillium is developing an antagonizing SIRPaFc fusion protein that blocks this inhibitory signal, allowing host macrophages to attack the cancer.
"Trillium, through its CD200Fc and CD200 antibody programs, has a longstanding interest in immune regulation", commented Trillium's Vice President, R&D, Dr. Bob Uger. "The SIRPaFc program allows us to extend this expertise into the field of leukemic stem cells, which have emerged as important targets in the search for more effective cancer treatments. We will continue to work closely with our academic colleagues to move this program forward and secure a third-party development partner."
Trillium Therapeutics Inc. is a private biopharmaceutical company specializing in innovative therapies of immune-mediated conditions, such as autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, as well as cancer. Trillium has a broad portfolio of preclinical immunology programs, including two partnered programs that target the CD200 immunoregulatory axis; a CD200-specific monoclonal antibody for the treatment of cancer, and a CD200Fc fusion protein for the treatment of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. In addition, the company is developing a SIRPa agonist that activates the CD47-SIRPa axis, suppressing macrophage activation. This agent is being developed to improve human hematopoietic stem cell engraftment, accelerate blood cell recovery post-transplantation, and enable engraftment with lower doses of stem cells (e.g. from cord blood). The company is also developing a SIRPaFc fusion protein, a decoy receptor that blocks the CD47-SIRPa axis resulting in macrophage activation. This product is initially being developed as a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. The company's most advanced program, TTI-1612, is a cytoprotective recombinant growth factor that is being developed for the treatment of interstitial cystitis (IC) and the prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Trillium has a broad network of external academic and industry R&D collaborations, including several license agreements with major US biotechnology companies. The Company is supported by three premier Canadian venture capital investors: Vengrowth Private Equity Partners, Growthworks Capital and BDC Capital.
SOURCE Trillium Therapeutics Inc.