Apogenix Presents Data On Novel Hexavalent TNF Receptor Agonists (HERA) At The Upcoming Annual Meeting Of AACR

Published: Mar 20, 2017

Agonists for GIT, CD27 and CD40 receptors in development for cancer immunotherapy exhibit significant in vitro- and in vivo activities

Heidelberg, Germany, March 20, 2017 - Apogenix, a biopharmaceutical company developing next-generation immuno-oncology therapeutics, announced today that comprehensive data on its novel HERA drug candidates will be presented at the upcoming American Society for Cancer Research (AACR) being held April 1-5 in Washington, D.C., USA. The results of immunomodulatory in vitro and in vivo studies on hexavalent GIT, CD27 and CD40 receptor agonists will be presented in one oral and two poster presentations.

The GIT receptor (GITR) plays an important role in initiating the immune response in the lymph nodes and in maintaining the immune response in the tumor tissue. The in vitro and in vivo properties of HERA-GITR ligands were studied in primary immune cells and different mouse models. HERA-GITR-ligands demonstrated excellent in vivo stability. Their ability to enhance proliferation and activation of naïve CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and to induce memory formation render them as attractive candidates for immunotherapeutic treatments of cancer.

CD27L is a potent co-stimulatory molecule that drives T cell activation and survival through binding to its receptor (CD27). This interaction can be exploited to improve an anti-tumor immune response. Binding of HERA-CD27-ligand to CD27 triggered a strong T cell expansion in vitro and in vivo. In two mouse tumor models treatment with HERA-CD27-ligand led to a dose-dependent inhibition of tumor growth and stimulated enhanced memory formation in both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. With their potent immune cell-driven anti-tumor efficacy, HERA-CD27-ligands represent suitable candidates for further preclinical and clinical development for cancer therapy.

In the humoral immune system, the CD40 receptor plays a central role in the activation and maturation of B lymphocytes. HERA-CD40L could activate the CD40 signaling cascade in B cells and monocytes, thereby triggering direct cytolytic activation and proliferation of CD4+ T cells as well as macrophage differentiation. Unlike bivalent CD40 antibodies or trivalent CD40L- based agonists, the hexavalent HERA-CD40L forms highly clustered signaling complexes with superior biological activity and without the need for Fc-receptor-mediated crosslinking. Our data demonstrate that HERA-CD40L is a novel candidate for cancer immunotherapy with exceptional features.


Title of the oral presentation: "Novel hexavalent GITR agonists stimulate T cells and enhance memory formation" Abstract: # 4963; Session: MS.ET01.01 ("Novel Approaches for Experimental Therapeutics") Session date and time: 4. April 2017, 03:00 - 05:00 p.m. Presentation time: 03:05 - 03:20 p.m. Room: Nr. 144, Level 1, Washington Convention Center The abstract is available online at the AACR website and can be downloaded here.

Poster title: "HERA-CD40L: A novel hexavalent CD40 agonist with superior biological activity" Abstract: #1688 / 7; Poster Session 29: "Adaptive Immunity to Cancer" Date and time: April 03, 2017, 08:00 - 12:00 a.m. The abstract is available online at the AACR website and can be downloaded here.

Poster title: "Hexavalent CD27 agonists show single agent anti-tumor activity and enhanced memory formation in mouse syngeneic tumor models" Abstract: #4690 / 6; Poster Session 30: "Immunomodulatory Agents and Therapeutics" Date and time: April 04, 2017, 01:00 - 05:00 p.m. The abstract is available online at the AACR website and can be downloaded here.

About HERA

Apogenix has developed a proprietary technology platform for the construction of novel hexavalent TNF superfamily receptor agonists (HERA). The specific molecular structure of HERA induces a well-defined clustering of functional TNF receptors on the surface of target immune cells. By stimulating different TNF signaling pathways, HERA-ligands can increase the anti-tumor immune response. In contrast to agonistic antibodies, the fusion proteins are pure agonists whose potent signaling capacity is independent of secondary Fc?-receptor mediated crosslinking. In addition, HERA-ligands cause neither antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) nor complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) and exhibit a shorter half-life than antibodies. It is therefore expected that HERA-ligands will cause less side effects in clinical development. Apogenix utilizes its HERA-platform to develop GIT, CD40, CD27, 4-1BB, HVEM, and OX40 receptor agonists for cancer immunotherapy. About Apogenix Apogenix is a private company developing innovative immuno-oncology therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other malignant diseases. The company has built a promising pipeline of immuno-oncology drug candidates that target different tumor necrosis factor superfamily (TNFSF)-dependent signaling pathways, thereby restoring the immune response against tumors. Since its inception in 2005, Apogenix has raised more than 100 million euros in financing rounds, public grants, as well as upfront and milestone payments from licensing agreements. The company is based in Heidelberg, Germany.

Contact Thomas Hoeger, Ph.D., CEO Apogenix AG Phone: +49 (6221) 58 60 80 E-Mail: contact@apogenix.com Web: www.apogenix.com

Media Contacts Europe: Katja Arnold, Laurie Doyle MC Services AG Phone: +49 (89) 210 228 0 apogenix@mc-services.eu

USA: Matt Middleman, M.D. Russo Partners, LLC Phone: +1 (212) 845 4272 matt.middleman@russopartnersllc.com

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