Unique glioblastoma treatment sees encouraging early results during phase 1 clinical trials

MINNEAPOLIS – OX2 Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held Minneapolis based company, announced today encouraging early results from phase 1 human trials of their new cancer treatment. Developed to combat recurrent high-grade brain tumors, the treatment utilizes a newly developed peptide inhibitor.

“OX2 works to explore the therapeutic potential of the new immune checkpoint agent, CD200AR-L,” said Christopher Moertel, PhD and Michael Olin, PhD, OX2 Therapeutics. “Our team of doctors developed the new peptide inhibitor with high binding affinity to the immune activation receptor. This activates an anti-tumor response and simultaneously downregulates the inhibitory PD-1/PD-L1 and CTLA-4 and a major immune checkpoint CD200 inhibitory receptor.”

This new mechanism is especially important in combating high grade brain tumors that typically evade the immune system and traditional treatments. The unique OX2 peptide, CD200AR-L, is a single peptide that has the potential to replace the toxic antibody therapies that are currently used to block immune checkpoints.

“CD200AR-L provides a one-two punch in the fight against cancer through the activation of the immune system, while simultaneously protecting it against tumor induced suppression allowing the immune system to both reach the cancer cells and then fight them,” said Dr. Moertel and Dr. Olin­­­.

OX2 Therapeutics completed their first of three dose levels in their phase 1 dose escalation trial with impressive laboratory and clinical evidence of immune response with little off-target toxicity. A portion of the early data will be showcased by Dr. Elizabeth Neil, the Principal Investigator of the clinical trial, at the annual Society of Neuro Oncology (SNO’s) annual meeting taking place in Boston on Nov 16 through the 18th. OX2 is encouraged by the initial immune and clinical responses thus far in the trial.

“Employing our accumulated in vitro, murine and canine data, OX2 Therapeutics formulated a treatment plan for adults with recurrent glioblastoma,” continued Moertel. “Based on this data, an IND was granted by the FDA and a phase 1 clinical trial is currently under way at the University of Minnesota (NCT04642937).”

CD200 is a naturally occurring immune modulator in the normal brain, but when glioblastoma develops, the inhibitory CD200 protein is cleaved from the surface of the malignant cell by a metalloprotease and goes into circulation, contributing to the systemic immunosuppression observed in patients with glioblastoma multiforme. In addition, CD200 protein also lines the endothelium of the tumor-associated vasculature, essentially disarming any immune cells that try to enter the tumor microenvironment. Treatment of mouse models of melanoma, breast carcinoma and bladder carcinoma with the murine version of the peptide led to the observation of significant tumor response and immunologic memory. Using this knowledge, the team of medical professionals treated a cohort of companion dogs suffering with naturally occurring high grade gliomas, a heretofore fatal disease, with our canine CD200AR-L and autologous brain tumor lysate. This resulted in an impressive impact on long term survival with minimal toxicity in treated dogs.

“Given this early success, projects examining the use of CD200AR-L for the treatment of melanoma, lung cancer and other solid tumors are underway,” commented both Jeff Litter, CEO and Sumant Dhawan, VP of Operations and Development.

To learn more about OX2 Therapeutics, Inc. visit www.ox2therapeutics.com.

About OX2 Therapeutics

OX2 Therapeutics, Inc is a clinical stage, biopharmaceutical company developing new therapies to turn cancers into manageable and potentially curable diseases. OX2 Therapeutics was founded in 2016 by Dr. Michael Olin, PhD, Associate Professor, Christopher Moertel, MD, Professor, both the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Department of Pediatrics, in the University of Minnesota School of Medicine and Sumant Dhawan, VP Operations. Jeff Liter, our CEO/CFO, joined in 2017. The scientific advisory committee includes G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., PhD, Thomas Molitor, PhD and Yuk Sham, PhD.


Laudan Fenster
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