1:58 PM
Dec 15, 2017
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

CD38 hat trick

Why Tusk believes its anti-CD38 mAb could be best in class

Tusk Therapeutics Ltd. thinks its anti-CD38 mAb could be best in class for solid tumors because it not only kills cancer cells and inhibits immunosuppressive cells, as its competitors do, but it also directly activates effector T cells.

The CD38 space initially gained prominence based on the speedy development and commercial success of Genmab A/S and Johnson & Johnson’s Darzalex daratumumab in multiple myeloma (MM).

More recently, the target has drawn interest as a possible checkpoint inhibitor in solid tumors and blood cancers as it is highly expressed on immunosuppressive cells that limit activation of effector T cells.

In a July 2016 study in Blood, J&J showed Darzalex monotherapy increased the number of peripheral versus bone marrow CD8+ T cells in MM patients.

Tusk co-founder and CEO Luc Dochez told BioCentury the biotech discovered CD38’s direct action on effector T cells almost on accident.

After screening for mAbs that kill cancer cells, he said...

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