ELB031 (Anti-Tyro3 and anti-MerTK antibodies in oncology)
Antibodies with a dual therapeutic effect Status: Optimization of candidate antibodies
Tyro3 and MerTK are cell surface receptors of the TAM-RTK family (Tyro3/AXL/MerTK Receptor Tyrosine Kinases) whose overexpression at the surface of tumour cells is considered a factor of poor prognosis (Graham et al, 2014). While these receptors are not directly involved in the initial development of cancers, they represent a selective advantage for cancer cells, promoting cell proliferation and mediating immune evasion. Recent studies have uncovered an important function for MerTK as a novel immune checkpoint, making it a very attractive target for the development of new immunotherapies (Cabezón et al. 2015).
By developing antibodies to block the Tyro3 and/or MerTK receptors, ELSALYS BIOTECH works towards restoring the anti-tumour immune response and blocking cancer cell proliferation.
Mechanism of action of anti-Tyro3 and anti-MerTK
ELSALYS BIOTECH has established a collaboration with the group of Dr. Benitez-Ribas (Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, Spain) to identify the best antibody candidates capable of reactivating the anti-tumour immune response, as well as a collaboration with the group of Pr. Raymond Birge (Rutgers University, USA) to determine the mode of action of the antibodies.
Advancement status and collaborations
ELSALYS BIOTECH has already developed a series of antibody candidates against Tyro3 and MerTK which are currently under evaluation in partnership with academic experts in in vitro models. Since 2013, ELSALYS BIOTECH has established an exclusive licencing agreement with the Curie Institute (Paris, France) to evaluate and develop the use of antibodies from the ELB031 programme for the treatment of bladder cancer.