Tusk’s take on CD25
How Tusk is bringing CD25 mAbs back into cancer
As companies revisit the potential of IL-2 to aid cancer immunotherapy, Tusk Therapeutics Ltd. has a new take by attacking CD25, a component of the IL-2 receptor with its own storied past. Its antibody could overcome both histories by uncoupling the helpful and harmful effects of IL-2.
The problem has been that IL-2 receptors exist on both effector T cells and immunosuppressive Tregs, which means either activating or blocking them both stimulates and suppresses the immune system.
Early data from preclinical studies suggest Tusk’s anti-CD25 mAbs carve a line between those effects, destroying Tregs while preserving IL-2’s function on effector T cells.
These properties, the company believes, should synergize with therapies ranging from checkpoint inhibitors to IL-2 itself.
“We think CD25 is everybody’s best friend. The beauty is that this is a method for pure Treg depletion, so there should be a benefit to combining it with anything that stimulates the effector response: PD-1, PD-L1 or other checkpoint inhibitors, IL-2, STING agonists or PI3Kγ inhibitors,” said CEO Luc Dochez.
Although patients have been treated with recombinant forms of the IL-2 cytokine as monotherapy for decades, its use is limited by toxicities ranging from hypertension to liver dysfunction and neurological disorders.
“We think CD25 is everybody’s best friend. The beauty is that this is a