Our focus is on a critical cell subset with potent immunmodulating activities, Regulatory T cells (Tregs). Decades of scientific research have demonstrated that Tregs act to control immune responses, which may be beneficial to harness this activity for alleviating autoimmune disease manifestation and for facilitating transplantation tolerance.
Our approach for controlling the expansion of Tregs takes advantage of a natural pathway with a synthetic small molecule formulated with liposome technology to treat GvHD. Our lead molecule, RGI-2001, has been well tolerated by patients in phase 1 clinical studies with demonstrated target engagement and measurable pharmacological activity in vivo to expand Tregs. More recently with Tregs, emerging data in the immuno-oncology field has pointed towards a potent subset of these cells mediating acquired resistance to checkpoint inhibitors and limiting patient responders to bispecific T cell engaging biologics.
We are developing antibody therapeutic approaches that will specifically target Tregs and reduce their undesired function in the tumor microenvironment. As the immuno-oncology market evolves toward the use of combination therapies, a key element of our strategy is to build a tailored portfolio of product candidates that target a wide range of complementing immune mechanisms. Consistent with this strategy, we are developing additional antibody drug candidates that may become the foundation for the next generation of combination therapies for immuno-oncology.