Eight announcements to expect at AACR 2023   

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting is taking place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from April 14-19, 2023. As the theme, Advancing the Frontiers of Cancer Science and Medicine, suggests, a number of announcements, results and presentations will take place at what is widely considered to be a flagship event for the cancer research community.   

Here are eight anticipated ‘curtain raisers’ in advance of the event:  

1. Bolt Biotherapeutics to present preclinical data

Bolt Biotherapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel immuno-oncology therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, will present a poster with new preclinical data for BDC-3042, a Dectin-2-targeting agonistic antibody.  

Tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) are an abundant immune cell population in many solid tumours and play a key role in establishing the immunosuppressive tumour microenvironment that enables tumour progression. However, TAMs have the potential to be reprogrammed into immunostimulatory cells that enhance innate and adaptive anti-tumour immunity. BDC-3042 is an agonistic antibody targeting Dectin-2, an immune-activating receptor expressed by TAMs. Given that Dectin-2 is over-expressed in many human cancers, BDC-3042 has broad applicability as an anti-cancer therapy.  

Details of the poster presentation are as follows:  

  • Targeting tumor-associated macrophages to enhance anti-tumor immunity with the Dectin-2 agonistic antibody BDC-3042 – Justin A Kenkel, PhD 

Monday, April 17, 2023, 1.30pm – 5pm ET, Poster Board 11

2. Kintara Therapeutics to present two posters on treatment of recurrent glioblastoma

Kintara Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to the development of unique and novel cancer therapies for patients who are failing or resistant to current treatment regimens, using its lead asset VAL-083.  

VAL-083, is a ‘first-in-class’ small-molecule chemotherapeutic with a novel mechanism of action that targets DNA and crosses the blood brain barrier to inhibit cancer cell replication and cell division. VAL-083 has completed Pre-Clinical, Phase I and II trials for the treatment of bevacizumab-refractory glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) and is currently being studied in two Phase II biomarker-driven clinical trials for unmethylated-MGMT GBM.  

Details of the poster presentation are as follows: 

  • Late-Breaking Research: Clinical Research 1 / Endocrinology 
  • RELA fusion-positive ependymoma and diffuse midline glioma treated with VAL-083 under expanded access – case reports  
  • VAL-083 in patients with recurrent glioblastoma treated under expanded access program  

Monday, April 17, 2023, 1.30pm to 5pm ET, Poster Board 34

3. Triumvira Immunologics to present data and updates on its Phase I/II solid tumour trial

Triumvira Immunologics is a clinical-stage company developing unique, non-gene edited, first-in-class targeted autologous and allogeneic T-cell therapeutics that co-opt the natural biology of T cells to treat patients with solid tumours.   

The company will be presenting updated clinical data and product characterisation from the ongoing Phase I/II trial of autologous TAC01-HER2 in patients with solid tumours and preclinical data on an allogeneic HER2-TAC T-cell product.  

There will be three sessions:   

  • A Phase I/II Trial Investigating Safety and Efficacy of Autologous TAC01-HER2 in Relapsed or Refractory Solid Tumors – Ecaterina E Dumbrava, MD, et al.

    Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 9am ET

  • Patient-derived TAC01-HER2 TAC T cells produced in Cocoon Platform are highly functional in models of solid tumors – Ling Wang, et al.

    Monday, April 17, 2023, 1.30pm ET

  • Preclinical characterization of allogeneic Vγ9Vδ2 HER2-TAC T cells for the treatment of HER2-positive solid tumors – Suzanna L Prosser, et al.

    Monday, April 17, 2023, 9am ET

4. Surface Oncology to present new preclinical SRF114 data

Surface Oncology, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company developing next-generation immunotherapies that target the tumour microenvironment, will present a poster highlighting new preclinical data for SRF114, the company’s fully human, afucosylated anti-CCR8 antibody.  

SRF114 is a fully human, afucosylated anti-CCR8 antibody designed to preferentially deplete CCR8+ Treg cells within the tumour microenvironment. In preclinical studies, Surface Oncology has shown that SRF114 induces antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and/or antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP) pathways to deplete intratumoural Treg cells. In addition, SRF114 reduced tumour growth in murine models. These findings support the advancement of SRF114 as a therapeutic candidate that holds the potential to drive anti-tumour immunity in patients.  

Details of the presentation are as follows:  

  • Depletion of CCR8+ tumor Treg cells with SRF114 or anti-CCR8 therapy promotes robust antitumor activity and reshapes the tumor microenvironment toward a more pro-inflammatory milieu  

Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 1.30pm – 5.30pm ET

5. Medicenna to share immunotherapy poster

Immunotherapy company Medicenna Therapeutics will be giving a poster presentation on delivery of immunotherapies to the tumour microenvironment.  

MDNA132 is an IL-13 Superkine designed to enable targeted delivery of immunotherapies to the tumour microenvironment. MDNA132 exhibits high affinity and selectivity for the IL13Rα2, which is highly overexpressed in various tumours such as pancreatic, prostate, bladder, colorectal, breast and lung cancer but minimally expressed in healthy tissues.  

Details of the presentation are as follows:  

  • Characterization of MDNA132, an IL-13 Decoy Receptor Selective Superkine for Targeted Delivery of Immunotherapies to the Tumor Microenvironment  

Sunday, April 16, 2023; 1.30pm – 5:00pm ET

6. Elevation Oncology’s POC data for antibody-drug conjugate under the spotlight

Elevation Oncology will highlight preclinical proof-of-concept data for its potential best-in-class antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) EO-3021 in an oral presentation at the New Drugs on the Horizon special session. A poster highlighting the preclinical data for EO-3021, designed to target Claudin 18.2, will also be presented at the conference. 

The company will also present two posters on NRG1 fusions, including updated data from the Phase II CRESTONE study evaluating seribantumab in patients with solid tumours harbouring NRG1 fusions. The company announced in January 2023 that it has paused enrolment in the Phase II CRESTONE study and further investment in seribantumab, pending entering a partnership. 

Details of presentations are as follows: 

  • EO-3021: An antibody drug conjugate targeting CLDN18.2 expressing cancers – David Dornan, Chief Scientific Officer, Elevation Oncology 

Monday, April 17, 2023, 10:15am ET 

  • Therapeutic potential of EO-3021/SYSA1801, a Claudin18.2 antibody-drug conjugate, for the treatment of CLDN18.2-expressing cancers – Mo Dan, et al. 

Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 9:00-12:00am ET 

  • Identification of NRG1 fusions in patients with solid tumors: Analysis from a real-world community oncology network – Emma G Sturgill, et al. 

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 1:30-5:00pm ET 

  • CRESTONE: A Phase II study of seribantumab in adult patients with neuregulin-1 (NRG1) fusion positive locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors – Tejas Patil, et al. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 9:00-12:30am ET

7. Tonix to present positive data on colorectal cancer drug

Biopharmaceutical company Tonix Pharmaceuticals will share research results on TNX-1700 (recombinant TFF2 – albumin fusion peptide) as posters at the meeting. 

The data demonstrate that targeting myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) using mTNX-1700, a murine TFF2 – murine serum albumin fusion peptide (mTFF2-MSA), provides additive benefits to PD-1 blockade therapy in advanced and metastatic syngeneic mouse models of colorectal and gastric cancer. 

Details of the poster presentations are below: 

  • MDSC-targeted TFF2-MSA suppresses tumor growth and increases survival in anti-PD-1 treated MC38 and CT26.wt murine colorectal cancer models – Bruce L Daugherty, et al. 

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 1:30-5:00pm ET 

  • MDSC-targeted TFF2-MSA synergizes with PD-1 blockade therapy in diffuse-type gastric cancer – Jin Qian, et al. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 1:30-5:00pm ET

8. Convergent Therapeutics will discuss promising prostate cancer ‘radioantibody’ 

Convergent Therapeutics will present research findings evaluating its lead asset, CONV01-α (225Ac-J591), a prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-targeted monoclonal antibody linked to actinium-225 (225Ac). 

A key functional feature of CONV01-α is that once bound to PSMA, it becomes internalised, delivering its radioactive payload directly into prostate cancer cells, minimising damage to surrounding healthy tissue. CONV01-α would be the first Ac-225 radioantibody approved for use in cancer treatment. 

Details of the plenary talk, part of the session ‘Promising Novel Antitumor Strategies in Early Phase Clinical Trials’, are below: 

  • Phase I dose-escalation study of fractionated dose 225Ac-J591 for metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer – Dr Jones T Nauseef, Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology & Medical Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine. 

Monday April 17, 2023, 11:45am – 12:00pm ET

9. Codagenix presents on multiple oncolytic viruses that ‘kickstart’ the cancer immunity cycle

Codagenix is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a synthetic biology platform that combines live-attenuated virus design with codon deoptimisation technology to engineer intranasal vaccines and viral therapeutics for a variety of diseases.  

Multiple oncolytic viruses have been shown to induce various beneficial changes in the tumor microenvironment (TME), which ultimately support induction of anti-tumor immune responses. As such, Codagenix has previously demonstrated that CodaLytic, a codon-modified influenza virus, can kickstart the cancer immunity cycle at various steps in several mouse models with differing baseline immune contextures. In this presentation, the company are confirming the mechanisms of action of the virus in combination with immune checkpoint inhibition in murine and human preclinical models. 

Details of the poster presentations are below: 

  • The codon-modified influenza virus CodaLytic rescues immunostimulatory activity and anti-tumour efficacy in PD-1-refractory tumour models – Yiwen Zhao, et al.

    April 16, 2023, 1.30pm – 5pm ET 

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