Genexine and NeoImmuneTech said Tuesday that they have presented animal trial results for HyLeukin-7, an immunotherapeutic drug candidate, at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Chicago.
HyLeukin-7 is a new drug pipeline that combined optimized interleukin-7 (IL-7) with hyFc, an original technology owned by Genexine. The company plans to use the drug candidate in treating various diseases, including cancer, infectious diseases, and lymphopenia.
The results presented at the conference showed that HyLeukin-7 increased T cells in the blood and induced cancer cells through chemokine receptor expression, which resulted in a significant increase in tumor infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL).
The drug had proved to have a significant effect on both CD4 T cells and CD8 T cells, during a phase 1 clinical trial conducted in Korea last year. In particular, the candidate showed substantial growth in memory T cells, which are essential for anti-cancer activity.
Currently, checkpoint inhibitor, which is the primary product in the immunotherapy market, has a significant non-response ratio of about 65 to 80 percent. Such high non-response rate has led to active clinical trials in combination therapy, which can increase the response rate through combining two anti-cancer drugs.
The company expects that it will produce a strong synergy in combination with other immunotherapeutic agents as HyLeukin-7 is a drug that can efficiently increase TIL, which is one of the major problems with the non-responders of checkpoint inhibitors.
“Along with the presentation, the company is discussing future co-development with several multi-national pharmaceutical companies that have immunotherapeutic drugs,” a company official said.
The company is conducting phase 1 and 2a clinical trials for HyLeukin-7 in the U.S.