GeneLeap Presents New Preclinical Data for Hydrogel Encapsulated TLR9 Agonist at AACR 2021
BOSTON, April 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- GeneLeap Bio., a subsidiary of Luye Life Sciences specializing in the development of nucleic acid therapeutics, presented an ePoster entitled 'Hydrogel encapsulated TLR9 agonists show sustained tumor growth inhibition and prolong survival of CT26 tumor-bearing mice' at the American Association for Cancer Research 2021 Annual Meeting. The preclinical study shows that compared with using TLR9 agonist on its own, a hydrogel encapsulated TLR9 agonist, independently developed by GeneLeap Biotech, can significantly improve antitumor performance, while demonstrating tumor growth inhibitory effects similar to that of TLR9 agonist without hydrogel encapsulation.
AACR Annual Meeting is one of the world's biggest and most eminent conferences related to cancer research, covering the latest discoveries and drug developments across the spectrum of cancers and highlighting the work of the best minds in research and medicine from institutions all over the world. The meeting was held virtually this year, from April 10 to 15 and May 17 to 21.
TLR9 is one of the most promising targets in current cancer immunotherapies, whose agonist has emerged as a potential monotherapy or in combination with other anticancer therapies. As an innate immune stimulator, TLR9 agonist can be combined with checkpoint inhibitors to increase its anti-tumor effects. By activating the innate immune system, it provides increased immunological impetus against checkpoint inhibitor resistant and refractor tumors.
However, there are certain drawbacks in the clinical application of TLR9 agonist, such as increased toxicity seen with systemic administration. Local injection of the TLR9 agonist is well-tolerated but the drug can degrade in the local tissues or dissipate from the site of action rapidly, resulting in reduced efficacy. Thus, in such cases a weekly or biweekly dosing of TLR9 agonist is usually required to maintain the anti-tumor efficacy.
To address this medical need, GeneLeap Biotech has made a breakthrough by encapsulating TLR9 agonists in injectable hydrogels containing poloxamer for a slow and sustained release of TLR9 agonist over a period of time. GeneLeap's researchers have conducted preclinical studies in a mouse tumor model to examine whether a single dose of Hydrogel encapsulated TLR9 agonist can be effective over a longer period in immune activation without toxicity.
The current preclinical study showed that a single administration of hydrogel encapsulated TLR9 agonist demonstrates tumor growth inhibition and non-toxicity similar to that of a multiple dose of TLR9 agonist without hydrogel encapsulation. This indicates that for those patients who are resistant or refractory to checkpoint inhibitors, hydrogel encapsulated TLR9 agonist could enhance the immune response to checkpoint inhibitors for a longer time. "Based on the positive preclinical data obtained in a mouse tumor model, we believe this novel formulation – hydrogel encapsulation – will ease frequency of dosing schedules of TLR9 agonists in clinic," said Dr. Jason Zhang, CSO of GeneLeap Biotech.
This preclinical study is also of pioneering significance in exploring further applications of hydrogel formulations. "To our knowledge, this is the first study using hydrogel encapsulation to improve the frequency of dosing of TLR9 agonists in cancer patients," said CEO of GeneLeap Biotech, Dr. Sean Fu. "It helps us enhance understanding of hydrogel formulations and has laid a good foundation for more in-depth clinical research in the area of therapeutic modalities including mRNA and oligonucleotides. As a pharmaceutical biotech focusing on frontier science, GeneLeap Biotech is committed to promoting pioneering science, developing nucleic-acid drugs for tumors and severe infectious diseases, and providing patients with innovative treatments to meet their health needs."
About GeneLeap Biotech
GeneLeap Bio., a subsidiary of Luye Life Sciences, specializes in developing gene therapy drugs for cancer and severe infectious diseases, including mRNA gene therapy and oligonucleotides. Currently, GeneLeap Biotech has R&D operations in both the USA (Boston) and China (Nanjing, Yantai).
SOURCE Luye Life Sciences