Medicenna Provides Development Update on MDNA109 IL-2 Superkine Program
Promising Pre-Clinical Efficacy, Safety and Pharmacokinetics Shown by Long-Acting Fusions of MDNA109
TORONTO, Aug. 2, 2018 /PRNewswire/ - Medicenna Therapeutics Corp. ("Medicenna" or the "Company") (TSX: MDNA) (OTCQX: MDNAF), a clinical stage immunotherapy company, developing proprietary Superkines and Empowered Cytokines, today provided an update on its IL-2 Superkine program MDNA109, the only IL-2 in development that selectively targets CD122 due to its enhanced affinity.
"We believe that MDNA109 is the best in class IL-2 cytokine in development due to its highly selective CD122 targeting, ease of manufacture, superior safety, efficacy and remarkable versatility due to its synergy with check-point inhibitors and ability to develop novel immunocytokines, armed CAR-T cells or oncolytic viruses," stated Dr. Fahar Merchant, Chairman, President and CEO of Medicenna. "Furthermore, recent pre-clinical data shows that fusions of MDNA109 with inactive protein scaffolds are long-acting and provide the convenience of easier dosing for the patient without sacrificing the safety and efficacy of MDNA109. We look forward to presenting our progress and results at upcoming conferences."
Medicenna has made significant progress in advancing its lead IL-2 Superkine program, MDNA109 with extended half-life characteristics. MDNA109 is an improved IL-2 agent with a unique biased activation profile targeting tumor killing immune cells with improved efficacy in pre-clinical models with or without checkpoint inhibition. Unlike other next-generation IL-2 therapeutics in development that only dampen CD25 affinity, such as NKTR-214 (Nektar Therapeutics, Inc.) and ALKS-4230 (Alkermes plc), MDNA109 specifically targets CD122 by virtue of a 1000-fold increase in its affinity for the receptor resulting in much greater activation of antitumor effector cells relative to immunosuppressive cells. Additionally, early data of MDNA109 fusions show that it has the potential to achieve extended half-life comparable to or better than other agents in development with the convenience of subcutaneous administration.
Developed by scientists at Stanford University, MDNA109 is an engineered version of IL-2 that binds up to 1,000 times more effectively to IL-2Rβ (CD122), thus greatly increasing its ability to activate and proliferate the immune cells needed to fight cancer. MDNA109 is an IL-2 Superkine that preferentially drives the expansion and responses of effector T cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells over Treg cells. It is the only IL-2 in development with a distinct mechanism by virtue of its high affinity towards CD122 allowing it to effectively combat NK cell anergy (exhaustion) which occurs frequently after cancer immunotherapy.
Medicenna is a clinical stage immunotherapy company developing novel highly selective versions of IL-2, IL-4 and IL-13 Superkines and first in class Empowered Cytokines™ (ECs). Our mission is to become the leader in the development and commercialization of ECs and Superkines for the treatment of a broad range of cancers and immune-mediated diseases. MDNA55 is Medicenna's lead EC currently enrolling in a multi-centre Phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of recurrent glioblastoma (rGBM), the most common and uniformly fatal form of brain cancer. MDNA55 has secured Orphan Drug Status from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency as well as Fast Track Designation from the FDA for the treatment of rGBM.
For more information, please visit www.medicenna.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to the future operations of the Company and other statements that are not historical facts. Forward-looking statements are often identified by terms such as "will", "may", "should", "anticipate", "expects" and similar expressions. All statements other than statements of historical fact, included in this release, including, without limitation, statements that MDNA109 is the best-in-class IL-2 cytokine, the ease of manufacture, superior safety, efficacy and remarkable versatility of MDNA109, that it is the only IL-2 candidate in development that selectively targets CD122, the half-life characteristics of MDNA109 and statements related to the future plans and objectives of the Company, are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the Company's expectations include the risks detailed in the annual information form of the Company dated June 26, 2018 and in other filings made by the Company with the applicable securities regulators from time to time.
The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of any forward-looking information may prove to be incorrect. Events or circumstances may cause actual results to differ materially from those predicted, as a result of numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of the Company. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking information. Such information, although considered reasonable by management at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect and actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. Forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as of the date of this news release and the Company will update or revise publicly any of the included forward-looking statements only as expressly required by Canadian securities law.
SOURCE Medicenna Therapeutics Corp.
Company Codes: OTC-QX:MDNAF, Toronto:MDNA