Rational for New Generation of Payloads:
Targeted therapies are unanimously acknowledged as the cornerstone of new drugs development in oncology. Various approaches so far have been considered, including engineered small molecules, improved or engineered biologics. Most of them are designed to overcome limitation inherent to chemotherapeutics or antibodies used as stand- alone. Next to “naked” antibodies, antibodies conjugated with various payloads (toxic payloads, radionuclides, immuno-toxins, cytokines...) represent the fastest growing segment of oncology-targeted therapies. This field is rapidly expanding with over close to 100 programs currently in development and in clinical trials, many with encouraging preliminary results against medical needs.
Payloads are of crucial importance for the effectiveness of targeted therapeutics, as they bring the ability to induce the tumor cell death and/or the ability to stimulate the immune system. Avicenna Oncology is currently developing new generation of payloads with differentiated mechanism of actions: Toxic Payloads and ImmunoPayloads.
Toxic payloads are highly cytotoxic small molecules attached to targeted vehicles (for instance monoclonal antibodies). The targeted vehicles are designed guides the toxic payloads to tumor cells. After being internalized, the toxic payloads will be released in a unnoticed way and will allow the subsequent destruction of the tumoral cells.
ImmunoPayloads are a new class of therapeutics that have the ability to activate a highly potent and specific T cell response to recognize and destroy tumoral cells.
ImmunoPayloads (ImPs) are unique constructs designed against oncogenic targets and fused with virus-derived immuno-dominant epitopes. ImPs are able to re-activate the immune system against the tumor. In other words, ImPs are able to “raise the flag” around tumor cells which used to escape the immune system.