CatalYm to present data on immunotherapy of cancer at AACR Annual Meeting

19 June 2020

CatalYm will be presenting two abstracts identifying a novel immunoregulatory role for Growth-and-Differentiation Factor 15 (GDF-15) and its effective neutralisation by CTL-002 antibody in cancer at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual Annual Meeting II on 22-24 June.

Tumor-derived GDF-15 suppresses T-lymphocyte recruitment to the tumor microenvironment describes in vitro and in vivo data, which demonstrate that tumour cells secrete GDF-15 to block T-cell entry into tumour tissue. Neutralising GDF-15 with CatalYm‘s proprietary antibody (CTL-002) restored the ability of CD8+ T-cells to enter the tumour.


Identifying GDF-15 as potential novel immunotherapeutic target linked to immune cellexclusion in tumors and resistance to anti-PD-1 treatment reveals that melanoma patients with high GDF-15 levels have significantly shorter survival and are less likely to respond to anti-PD1 therapy. In addition, intratumoral GDF-15 levels in human melanoma correlated inversely with CD3+ and CD8+ T cell infiltration. Consequently, GDF-15 may serve as a predictive biomarker for anti-PD1 response and potentially represents a novel target in the immunotherapy of cancer to improve tumour immune cell infiltration and response to cancer immunotherapy.


Dr. Manfred Rüdiger, CEO of CatalYm, said: “Our data shows that GDF-15 is a novel checkpoint factor secreted by tumours. GDF-15 serves as T cell repellent and may cause low or no response to modern immunotherapies. Neutralising GDF-15 with our CTL-002 antibody is a novel promising approach to increase response rates of cancer immunotherapies and overall survival of cancer patients.”

CTL-002 is set to enter clinical development during 2020.

Image credit: Bogomil Mihaylor

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