Benefits of reprogramming tumour macrophages presented at AACR


UK company Macomics presented data demonstrating its Enigmac macrophage drug discovery platform at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Annual Meeting (AACR) in Florida.

The company uses macrophage-based approaches to develop novel precision medicines to target disease specific macrophage biology.

Macrophages are key players of the tumour microenvironment (TME). Most tumours are populated by macrophages and a rich infiltration of this myeloid cell is generally correlated with poor prognosis at the clinical level. Tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) influence all the other cell types in the tumour by creating a pro-tumoral niche which favours cancer cells to proliferate and invade other organs.

Data presented at AACR shows Macomics’s use of a human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) line to yield macrophages phenotypically and functionally very similar to human monocyte-derived macrophage (MDM), producing millions of macrophages per week for use in multiple high throughput assays.

The company also presented its toolbox that integrates gene Knock In (KI), Knock Out (KO) and Knock Down (KD) with high efficiency both at iPSC and macrophage level while maintaining expression/silencing during macrophage differentiation.

Dr Steve Myatt, CEO of Macomics, said: “We believe that TAMs reprogramming is a very effective strategy. By changing the phenotype of a high number of intratumoral TAM, we achieve not only the abrogation of their tumour-supporting functions but importantly also the increase of their tumour-killing properties. In this way, we plan to tip the balance and create a reprogramming domino effect which will influence other immune cells to mount an effective anti-tumour immune response.”

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