ARTICLE | Targets & Mechanisms

Going TIGITal

Genentech is combining antibodies against TIGIT and PD-L1 for cancer immunotherapy

January 29, 2015 8:00 AM UTC

Among the host of new targets being explored for combination with anti-PD-1 therapies, TIGIT stands out for its unique mechanism that complements PD-1's control of T cell activation. Preclinical results from the Genentech Inc. unit of Roche point to a role for TIGIT in fine tuning the PD-1 response, but the company is giving little away about its plans for exploiting the discovery. The molecule was first identified in 2009 by Genentech researchers who classified it as a co-inhibitory molecule - also termed checkpoint inhibitor - expressed on NK cells and CD4+ T cells. But it wasn't clear if TIGIT also had a role in tumor immunity.

Genentech has long been a player in the PD-1 space. Its anti-PD-L1 antibody MPDL3280A is in Phase III testing for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and earlier stage testing for other cancers. ...