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Preclinical evaluation of IAP0971, a novel immunocytokine that binds specifically to PD1 and fuses IL15/IL15R α complex



Background:

Currently, cytokine therapy for cancer has demonstrated efficacy in certain diseases but is generally accompanied by severe toxicity. The field of antibody-cytokine fusion proteins (immunocytokines) arose to target these effector molecules to the tumor microenvironment to expand the therapeutic window of cytokine therapy. Therefore, we have developed a novel immunocytokine that binds specifically to programmed death 1 (PD1) and fuses IL15/IL15Rα complex (referred to as IAP0971) for cancer immunotherapy.


Methods:

We report here the making of IAP0971, a novel immunocytokine that binds specifically to PD1 and fuses IL15/IL15Rα complex, and preclinical characterization including pharmacology, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics and toxicology, and discuss its potential as a novel agent for treating patients with advanced malignant tumors.


Results:

IAP0971 bound to human IL2/15Rβ proteins specifically and blocked PD1/PDL1 signaling transduction pathway. IAP0971 promoted the proliferation of CD8 + T cells and natural killer T (NKT) cells, and further activated NK cells to kill tumor cells validated by in vitro assays. In an hPD1 knock-in mouse model, IAP0971 showed potent anti-tumor activity. Preclinical studies in non-human primates following single or repeated dosing of IAP0971 showed favorable pharmacokinetics and well-tolerated toxicology profile.


Conclusion:

IAP0971 has demonstrated a favorable safety profile and potent anti-tumor activities in vivo. A Phase I/IIa clinical trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of IAP0971 in patients with advanced malignant tumors is on-going (NCT05396391).


Keywords:

IAP0971; IL15; PD1; cancer immunotherapy; immunocytokine.



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