T cells are essential components in the human body’s immune responses against infectious agents and diseased cells such as cancer. We are utilizing novel single-chain T-cell receptor (STARTM) platform technology to capture the precise, disease-recognition properties of the T cell receptor in the creation of next-generation immunotherapeutic agents. These innovative molecules can enhance the efficacy and reduce the toxicity of existing approaches through specifically targeting immune responses against tumors or virally infected cells.
We are developing a new class of targeted immunotherapeutic drugs, based on our STARTM technology. ALT-801 is the first in class STAR™ molecule for treatment of cancers overexpressing the p53 tumor associated protein. ALT-801 is a fusion of the p53-specific STARTM domain with cytokine interleukin-2 (IL-2), which improves the immunostimulatory activity and toxicity profile of IL-2. This fusion results in better antitumor efficacy in various experimental models. Additionally, the p53 protein target is overexpressed in about 50% of different types of tumors, including lung, colon, breast, bladder and head and neck cancers, making ALT-801 a very broad-based targeted immunotherapeutic candidate for treating cancer.
STARTM Research Reagents
In addition to therapeutic applications, STARTM molecules can be used to detect and quantitate antigen presentation in the context of major histocompatibility (MHC) molecules on cancer and virally infected cells. We are developing a large portfolio of high-affinity human-derived STARTM molecules against clinically relevant tumor and viral antigens. These research agents are enabling investigators to gain a better understanding of these diseases and may ultimately lead to new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.