02 Mar, 2022, 14:17 ET
NATICK, Mass., March 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Avenge Bio, Inc., ("Avenge" or the "Company") a biotechnology company developing the LOCOcyte™ immunotherapy platform for the precision administration of potent immune effector molecules to treat solid tumors, today announced a publication in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances describing the foundational, preclinical research establishing the LOCOcyte™ platform proof of concept in animal models. The manuscript, entitled "Clinically translatable cytokine delivery platform for eradication of intraperitoneal tumors," was published today and can be viewed on the Science Advances website.
Ovarian cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to treat. It is typically not detected until later stages, and about 70 percent of patients will have recurrence after an initial treatment, which is often fatal. Furthermore, ovarian tumors produce fluid that makes it challenging to deliver drugs locally. To overcome this challenge, a research team at Rice University led by Omid Veiseh, Ph.D., has developed an innovative immunotherapy platform that enables engineered cells to produce immune-activating molecules, for a specified duration, within this fluid tumor microenvironment.
The Science Advances manuscript details the immunotherapy platform and its safety and efficacy in preclinical models. The human cells are engineered to produce murine immune cell signaling molecule interleukin-2 (IL2), a critical cytokine that initiates a robust localized immune response when administered into the intraperitoneal (IP) cavity of tumor-bearing mice that model advanced ovarian cancer. Notably, 100% of mice showed a significant tumor burden reduction after 30 days, compared to controls. The study also demonstrated that IL2 was localized to the IP cavity and that IL2 production was limited to a 30-day window, both of which suggest a minimal risk of systemic toxicities. Furthermore, the study features robust anti-tumor data in mice with colorectal cancer, demonstrating the broad potential of the immunotherapy platform. Studies in non-human primates demonstrated similar proof of concept of both efficacy and safety, setting the stage for clinical studies in humans.
"We are excited to share these data with the scientific community. Ovarian cancer remains a significant clinical challenge, which drove our team's dedication to discover and develop an innovative treatment approach," said Dr. Veiseh, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at Rice University and a Founder of Avenge Bio. "I am grateful to all of the researchers and collaborators involved with this project, including Amanda Nash who has worked on this project from inception. Amanda and I look forward to working with Avenge to bring this technology in the clinic to help patients in need."
Avenge Bio has an exclusive license from Rice University for this technology. Avenge has been engaged in discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and expects to begin clinical studies in the second half of 2022.
"I would like to congratulate Omid and Amanda on this groundbreaking scientific work that resulted in this publication. These discoveries have the potential to dramatically change the treatment paradigm for certain solid tumors including metastatic peritoneal cancers." We have been working closely with Omid and his team to bring this technology into the clinic and look forward to its continued development," said Michael Heffernan, CEO of Avenge.
About Avenge Bio
Avenge Bio, Inc. ("Avenge") is an oncology-focused biotechnology company developing transformative cell-based immunotherapeutic products for the treatment of intractable solid tumors by incorporating its LOCOcyte™ platform. The LOCOcyte™ platform leverages proprietary engineered cells delivered to the local tumor environment that generate high concentrations of immune effector molecules in proximity to the tumor. This initiates a robust, local and durable systemic immune response while avoiding toxicities associated with systemic immunotherapies. Avenge's most advanced product candidate, AVB-001, produces native IL-2 immunotherapy and is initially being studied in metastatic peritoneal cancers such as ovarian cancer. Avenge has additional pipeline candidates for the treatment of a wide range of cancers including pancreatic, lung and breast cancers. Avenge was founded in 2019 based upon technology developed in the laboratory of Omid Veiseh, Ph.D. and has an exclusive license from Rice University for this technology. In January 2022, Avenge announced the closing of a $45 million Series A financing co-led by Perceptive Xontogeny Venture Fund and CAM Capital, with participation from sole seed investor Longitude Capital and new investors Rock Springs Capital, and Pappas Capital. To learn more about Avenge visit www.avengebio.com.
SOURCE Avenge Bio, Inc.
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