Mol Cancer Ther Publishes Bexmarilimab Research
Faron Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
("Faron" or "Company")
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics Publishes Research on the Nonclinical Characterization of Bexmarilimab
Press release, May 9, 2022 at 02:00 AM (EDT) / 07:00 AM (BST) / 09:00 AM (EEST)
TURKU, FINLAND / BOSTON, MA - Faron Pharmaceuticals Ltd (AIM: FARN, First North: FARON), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on building the future of immunotherapy by harnessing the power of the immune system to tackle cancer and inflammation, today announces that the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics published research examining the discovery and preclinical development of bexmarilimab, Faron's wholly-owned investigational precision cancer immunotherapy. The paper, titled "Nonclinical characterization of bexmarilimab, a Clever-1-targeting antibody for supporting immune defense against cancers" is available online at: https://aacrjournals.org/mct/article/doi/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-21-0840/696262/Nonclinical-characterization-of-bexmarilimab-a.
The manuscript details early research from the bexmarilimab program and explores the hypothesis that Clever-1, a protein that is highly expressed in a subset of immunosuppressive human tumor-associated macrophages and is associated with poor patient outcomes following treatment with currently approved checkpoint inhibitors, is a novel target for the development of next generation immunotherapies. Tumor-associated macrophages are one of the main contributors to an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and the inhibition of Clever-1 has been demonstrated to convert immunosuppressive M2 macrophages into immunostimulatory M1 macrophages. In the paper, the authors discuss the potential of Clever-1 as a therapeutic target and that downregulating Clever-1 could lead to T-cell activation and restoration of an immune response in cancer patients.
Reporting the humanization and nonclinical characterization steps used to determine the physicochemical properties, biological potency, and safety profile of bexmarilimab, the authors conclude that bexmarilimab could induce an immunostimulatory tumor microenvironment that leads to anti-tumor efficacy. They also state that there is a solid rationale for the continuing development of bexmarilimab for the treatment of difficult-to-treat cancers by providing permanent immune stimulation through targeting myeloid cell function.
"This research underlines the strength of the science behind our bexmarilimab program. It is widely known that tumor progression is profoundly influenced by interactions of the cells within the tumor microenvironment, which makes it a critical area of focus for the development of new immunotherapies," said Marie-Louise Fjällskog, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of Faron. "With bexmarilimab, targeting the Clever-1 protein on tumor-associated macrophages, we have an opportunity to switch their activity from being immunosuppressive to become immune-stimulating, enabling them to both mount an immune response of their own and activate other immune cells to infiltrate the tumor. Our ongoing clinical development program will enable us to further understand this potentially pioneering approach of harnessing the immune system to fight cancer".
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Bexmarilimab is Faron's wholly-owned, investigative precision immunotherapy with the potential to provide permanent immune stimulation for difficult-to-treat cancers through targeting myeloid cell function. A novel anti-Clever-1 humanised antibody, bexmarilimab targets Clever-1 positive (Common Lymphatic Endothelial and Vascular Endothelial Receptor 1) tumour associated macrophages (TAMs) in the tumour microenvironment, converting these highly immunosuppressive M2 macrophages to immune stimulating M1 macrophages. In mouse models, bexmarilimab has successfully blocked or silenced Clever-1, activating antigen presentation and promoting interferon gamma secretion by leukocytes. Additional pre-clinical studies have proven that Clever-1, encoded by the Stabilin-1 or STAB-1 gene, is a major source of T cell exhaustion and involved in cancer growth and spread. Observations from clinical studies to date indicate that Clever-1 has the capacity to control T cell activation directly, suggesting that the inactivation of Clever-1 as an immune suppressive molecule could be more broadly applicable and more important than previously thought. As an immuno-oncology therapy, bexmarilimab has potential as a single-agent therapy or in combination with other standard treatments including immune checkpoint molecules. Beyond immuno-oncology, it offers potential in infectious diseases, vaccine development and more.
About Faron Pharmaceuticals Ltd
Faron (AIM: FARN, First North: FARON) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel treatments for medical conditions with significant unmet needs caused by dysfunction of our immune system. The Company currently has a pipeline based on the receptors involved in regulation of immune response in oncology, organ damage and bone marrow regeneration. Bexmarilimab, a novel anti-Clever-1 humanized antibody, is its investigative precision immunotherapy with the potential to provide permanent immune stimulation for difficult-to-treat cancers through targeting myeloid function. Currently in Phase I/II clinical development as a potential therapy for patients with untreatable solid tumors, bexmarilimab has potential as a single-agent therapy or in combination with other standard treatments including immune checkpoint molecules. Traumakine is an investigational intravenous (IV) interferon beta-1a therapy for the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and other ischemic or hyperinflammatory conditions. Traumakine is currently being evaluated in global trials as a potential treatment for hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and with the 59th Medical Wing of the US Air Force and the US Department of Defense for the prevention of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS) after ischemia-reperfusion injury caused by a major trauma. Faron is based in Turku, Finland. Further information is available at www.faron.com.
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