Ymmunobio AG, a preclinical stage biotech company specializing in the development of innovative treatments for cancer patients, has secured ownership to neuronal pentraxin receptor (NPTXR) antibodies, which have shown utility for developing therapeutics and for novel diagnostic tools in the treatment of several gastro-intestinal cancers, including gastric cancer.
Ymmunobio signed the transfer ownership agreement in 2022 with Nagoya University for the license to NPTXR antibodies, which were invented by Professor Mitsuro Kanda, Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Nagoya University, Japan.
Ymmunobio has begun developing the lead, fully humanized and first-in-class NPTXR antibody, YB-800, which has demonstrated anti-tumor activity in vivo and in vitro for solid tumors, including several gastro-intestinal and breast cancers.
“Ymmunobio’s ownership of NPTXR represents a great leap forward for our company,” said Ymmunobio Founder and CEO Katrin Rupalla. “Our lead antibody YB-800 targets directly various cancers overexpressing NPTXR and selectively kills cancer cells so that healthy tissue is not affected. This antibody is extending our innovative pipeline of first-in-class or novel antibodies. We’re optimistic that our ongoing preclinical development with NPTXR will enable us to start IND-enabling studies by the end of this year.”
As indicated in Kanda's study1, there is a pressing need to identify candidate therapeutic targets for the development of agents to control cancer metastasis through novel mechanisms. NPTXR plays an essential role in controlling the malignant behavior of gastric cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. NPTXR-targeting therapeutic antibodies (Abs) may have utility as novel diagnostic tools and/or treatment modalities for gastric cancer.
The potential impact of NPTXR in developing antibodies to treat solid tumors is especially significant considering that 35% of colon cancer patients have a high expression of NPTXR, while 50% of gastric cancer patients have a high expression of NPTXR.
ABOUT GI CANCERS
Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the world and is estimated to make up 10% of all cancers. Gastric cancer (stomach cancer) was the fifth most common malignant tumor in the world in 2020 and the fourth leading cause of cancer death globally with approximately 800,000 deaths.