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Jul 25, 2016
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Targeted phagocytosis

How Alexo's SIRPA variants could serve as universal adjuvants for cancer mAbs

Alexo Therapeutics Inc. is developing variants of signal regulatory protein alpha that antagonize CD47 to increase macrophage phagocytosis induced by anticancer antibodies. Using the variants alongside antibody therapeutics could avoid on-target phagocytosis of healthy cells observed with more advanced CD47-targeting agents.

CD47 is a cell surface protein that is widely expressed on both normal and cancer cells. It allows cells to avoid phagocytosis by interacting with signal regulatory protein alpha (SIRPA) on macrophages.

President and CEO Jaume Pons said elevated CD47 expression is observed in many hematological and solid tumors and "correlates with aggressive disease and decreased probability of survival."

However, blockade of CD47 signaling is not sufficient to induce macrophage phagocytosis, which also requires the delivery of a pro-phagocytic signal. Antibody therapeutics for cancer not only can deliver the required signal via binding of their Fc region to receptors on macrophages, but also can ensure the signal is targeted only to the cells that express the antibody's target.

The result should be an...

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