Medicenna is a clinical stage immunotherapy company focused on oncology and the development and commercialization of novel, highly selective versions of IL-2, IL-4 and IL-13 Superkines™ and first in class Empowered Cytokines™ (ECs) for the treatment of a broad range of cancers. Our proprietary technology platform supports a unique, multi-methodology treatment paradigm that can precisely deliver potent cell-killing agents for cancer as well as actively alter the immunosuppressive tumor micro-environment without harming healthy cells.
Targeting Not Only the Cancer Cells but Also Their Microenvironment
There is a complex interaction between the cancer and surrounding non-malignant cells of the tumor microenvironment (TME), that supports the process of cancer progression – from normal to benign, benign to malignant, malignant to metastatic – while suppressing the patient’s immune response. Although tumor-initiating cells and cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the driving force of tumor development, these transformed cells cannot progress without the help of the TME. By altering the tumor’s TME, immuno-invisible “cold tumors” can become “hot tumors” so that they are revealed to the immune system as targets.
Looking at Cancer as a Species Not a Disease
Cancer cells’ inherent advantage is their ability to mutate and develop resistance to conventional chemotherapy and radiation cancer therapies. Fortunately, non-malignant host cells of the TME do not mutate or develop resistance. At Medicenna, we look at cancers in the context of environmental ecology and Darwinian evolution. The most efficient way to kill a species (cancer cells and CSCs) is to alter their ecosystem (the TME) to make their environment inhospitable to cancer growth and survival.