TIGIT breaks through as next-generation checkpoint target

ASCO preview: TIGIT’s dual role in immunity could position it to lead among next-gen checkpoints

Next-generation checkpoint inhibitors will take the limelight at the 2020 virtual ASCO meeting, with all eyes on TIGIT as the first to back up the noise with data. Genentech is poised to present Phase II data that positions TIGIT as the first next-generation checkpoint to deliver the clinical efficacy expected from preclinical models.

In an abstract released ahead of the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Virtual Scientific Program, the Genentech Inc. unit of Roche (SIX:ROG; OTCQX:RHHBY) showed that its anti-TIGIT mAb tiragolumab had additive benefit when paired with a PD-L1 inhibitor, with no additional toxicity (see “TIGIT Emerges as a Standout”).

That makes it the first next-generation checkpoint target that has performed as hoped. The results have impressed even competitors.

“There haven’t been many controlled Phase II studies of combinations for these new IO targets. With Genentech’s data, this would be the first novel IO target after PD-1 that’s been validated with that kind of data,” said Joanne Lager, CMO of iTeos Therapeutics S.A., which has its own anti-TIGIT mAb, EOS-448, in Phase I/IIa testing.

“Having an anti-TIGIT antibody with a functional Fc domain significantly enhances but is not absolutely

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