IL-2 has long been recognized as an effective anti-tumor agent, but its utility is limited by serious side effects and low percentage of responders.
Currently, immune checkpoint inhibitors are transforming cancer treatment and revitalizing interest in immunotherapies. While efficacy has been observed in patients with advanced metastatic disease treated with checkpoint inhibitors, not all patients respond, and most responses are incomplete or not sustained. Preclinical and clinical studies suggest that combining additional modalities with checkpoint inhibitors will provide opportunities to improve patient outcomes.
XOMA has developed unique, fully human antibodies that steer IL-2 to the immune cell populations most advantageous for anti-tumor activity. Moreover, those cells that might contribute more to IL-2 side effects and/or suppression of anti-tumor responses are activated to a lesser extent. A development candidate has now been selected and is completing preclinical pharmacology studies.
IL-2 has long been recognized as an effective therapy for metastatic melanoma and renal cell carcinoma, but it has serious dose-limiting toxicities that prevent broad clinical use. Our drug candidate should improve the therapeutic index and, potentially, magnitude of efficacy over standard IL-2 therapy. The development candidate has the potential for development as a stand-alone or combination therapy agent.