At Medicenna, our approach is to develop and commercialize a novel class of multi-targeted fusion proteins, we call Interleukin-4 Empowered Cytokines (IL4-ECs). These proprietary, first-in-class targeted Molecular Trojan Horses are designed to harness the exceptional specificity and affinity of Superkines™ (engineered cytokines) to selectively and simultaneously deliver cell killing Payloads to the bulk tumor, tumor microenvironment (TME) and cancer stem cells (CSC).
The interleukin-4 receptor (IL4R) is an attractive target for the development of cancer therapeutics, because it is frequently and intensely expressed on a wide variety of human carcinomas. The recent determination of a pivotal role for IL4R in the emergence and advancement of the malignant phenotype, overexpression on cancer stem cells (CSCs) and its dominant role in the tumor micro-environment (TME) validates our approach of pursuing with the IL4R as an important cancer target.
Components of the TME, such as Tumor Associated Macrophages (TAMs), Myeloid Derived Suppressor Cells (MDSCs) and a Th2>>Th1 profile, are each attributed to a robust IL-4/IL-4R bias and generally associated with highly aggressive forms of cancer and poor survival outcomes. We believe that major improvement in cancer outcomes can be achieved if a multi-pronged approach was deployed. Medicenna’s IL4-ECs are capable of ablating the bulk tumor, depleting cancer stem cells (CSCs) weakening the angiogenic pro-tumoral microenvironment (TAMs) and stripping the immunosuppressive cloak protecting the tumor (MDSCs). By doing so, IL4-ECs have the potential to radically improve patient outcomes.
Our Target Centric approach is complemented by our Patient Centric approach in that, by selecting patient populations that have a biased IL-4/IL-4R profile, we believe that our IL4-ECs will have a higher probability of clinical, regulatory and re-imbursement success.