Synthorx to Present at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting

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SAN DIEGO, May 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Synthorx, Inc. (NASDAQ: THOR), a biotechnology company discovering and developing optimized biologics for cancer and autoimmune disorders, today announced company researchers will present preclinical data demonstrating the potential safety and anti-tumor effects of its lead product candidate, THOR-707, a “not alpha” Synthorin™ of interleukin-2 (IL-2) for the treatment of solid tumors at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting taking place May 31 – June 4 at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL.  Marcos Milla, PhD., chief scientific officer of Synthorx, will present the company’s approach to utilizing its first-of-its-kind Expanded Genetic Alphabet platform technology to engineer IL-2 to improve its pharmacological profile.

The presentation, titled “THOR-707: Using synthetic biology to reprogram the therapeutic activity of interleukin-2 (IL-2),” describes the use of the Synthorx Expanded Genetic Alphabet platform technology to design THOR-707, a recombinant IL-2 that that is pegylated at one specific site, intended to block engagement of the alpha chain of the IL-2 receptor.  In preclinical models, the “not alpha” feature of THOR-707 prevents proliferation of immunosuppressive CD4+ regulatory T cells as well as activation of non-lymphoid cells that trigger the serious complication of vascular leak syndrome (VLS) when IL-2 is used to treat cancer patients.

The poster presentation will include data demonstrating expansion of CD8+ T cells without eosinophilia (a measurement of VLS) and durability of the CD8+ T cell expansion, regardless of whether THOR-707 is administered every 2, 3 or 4 weeks.  The data also demonstrate that an anti-PD-1 antibody, when combined with THOR-707, increases interferon-gamma (IFN‑γ) release from T cell receptor-activated T cells, indicating the potential of this combination to enhance anti-tumor effects.  The durability of these effects was demonstrated in a tumor model where re-challenged animals initially cured with THOR-707 + anti-PD-1 were found to reject additional challenges with tumor cells without subsequent drug administration.  These data support the establishment of persistent anti-tumor memory T cell populations. 

“Our preclinical data highlights the ways our Expanded Genetic Alphabet platform technology shows the potential of significantly improving both the safety profile and pharmacological properties of IL-2,” said Dr. Milla of Synthorx. “Taken together, the favorable pre-clinical attributes of THOR-707 suggest that this may provide a product with prolonged immuno-stimulatory effects, clinically meaningful anti-tumor activity, minimal regulatory T cell-driven immunosuppression and significantly decreased risk for VLS coupled with convenient dosing for the patient.” The company plans to file its IND application for THOR-707 in the second quarter of 2019.

Details of the ASCO poster presentation are as follows:

Christina TartagliaStern IR, Inc.christina.tartaglia@sternir.com212-362-1200

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Globe Newswire: 22:15 GMT Wednesday 15th May 2019

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