4:28 PM
 | 
Oct 31, 2017
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Two faces of myeloid

How Pionyr intends to enhance the antitumor immune response

Pionyr Immunotherapeutics Inc. has a pipeline of preclinical antibodies that could enable it to selectively deplete immunosuppressive myeloid cells from tumors without harming immune-stimulating myeloid cells.

Myeloid cells such as tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) can weaken antitumor immunity and limit efficacy of checkpoint therapies.

However, a 2014 Cancer Cell paper by founder Max Krummel and his colleagues at University of California San Francisco demonstrated that at least one subtype of intratumoral myeloid cell -- the CD103+ dendritic cell -- stimulates CD8+ T cells. Krummel is a professor of pathology and co-inventor of CTLA-4 inhibitor Yervoy ipilimumab.

In addition, Executive Chairman and CEO Steven James told BioCentury Pionyr has unpublished data from melanoma patients showing high numbers of intratumoral CD103+ dendritic cells correlate with an increased likelihood of responding to anti-PD-1 therapy.

James said Pionyr’s pipeline includes four antibodies against undisclosed targets that are...

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