Avacta Group PLC - Successful initial proof-of-concept
Successful initial proof-of-concept for a proprietary new class of anti-cancer therapy
The first TMACTM drug conjugate (AVA04-VbP) combines an Affimer PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor with an I-DASH drug warhead. The TMAC molecule is designed to target the release of its drug warhead in the tumour microenvironment, inflaming the tumour locally in such a way that it attracts the immune system to further attack the cancer, whilst the Affimer immunotherapy part of the TMAC molecule supports this secondary immune system attack.
In a mouse tumour model, the Company has shown that the first TMAC drug conjugate (AVA04-VbP) outperforms Bavencio (avelumab), a marketed PD-L1 antibody inhibitor developed by Merck and Pfizer. Animals treated with AVA04-VbP showed a significant reduction in the rate of tumour growth with respect to those treated with Bavencio.
A considerably higher level of the released I-DASH warhead was measured in the tumours compared with very low levels in the blood. This indicates that the healthy tissues in the body are being spared exposure to the highly toxic warhead, which is central to the TMAC mechanism of action, permitting the use of highly potent cancer-killing warheads.
"These in vivo efficacy and distribution data demonstrate initial proof-of-concept for TMAC drug conjugates and represent an important milestone for the Company.
We continue to receive significant commercial interest in the TMAC concept, so I am delighted that we have been able to demonstrate superior efficacy and targeting of the warhead to the tumour with the first TMAC that we have tested in animals.
This is hugely encouraging for the TMAC programme and I look forward to keeping the market updated on future developments."
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The Company benefits from near-term revenues generated from Affimer reagents for diagnostics, bioprocessing and research, through a separate business unit based in Wetherby,
The Affimer platform is an alternative to antibodies derived from a small human protein. Despite their shortcomings, antibodies currently dominate markets worth in excess of
By combining these two platforms the Company is building a wholly owned pipeline of novel cancer therapies with the aim of creating effective treatments for all cancer patients including those who do not respond to existing immunotherapies.
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