HOW DOES CD38 PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN TARGETING CERTAIN CANCERS?
CD38 is a protein receptor overexpressed on certain cancers including hematological malignancies and solid tumors. With the development of anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody therapies (mAbs) designed to bind to CD38 antigen to generate immune-mediated killing, survival outcomes for CD38+ cancers have significantly improved. However, despite the potential benefit of anti-CD38 mAbs, cancers such as multiple myeloma are still considered to be incurable.
- VyGen-Bio is a discovery-stage, cell-based immunotherapy company focused on the development of transformational technology platforms: GEAR-NK, modified natural killer cell-based therapeutics (NK cells), optimized to be co-administered with targeted antibodies; and, GEAR Diagnostic, a companion diagnostic being developed to better select patient populations most likely to benefit from targeted antibody therapies.
- Headquartered in Tampa, Florida on the campus of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, VyGen-Bio is a majority-owned subsidiary of Vycellix, Inc.
VyGen-Bio’s platforms were discovered by scientists at Karolinska Institutet (KI), Stockholm, Sweden that collaborate with VyGen-Bio. Additionally, VyGen-Bio is a member-partner in “NextGenNK”, an international Competence Center for the development of next-generation NK cell-based cancer immunotherapies based at KI and funded by Sweden’s innovations agency, Vinnova. KI is globally recognized for its Nobel Assembly, which awards the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Our science stems from the premise that certain cancer therapies for CD38+ tumors can be enhanced to minimize off-target effects while harnessing the therapeutic impact of NK cells. CD38 is a multifunctional transmembrane glycoprotein that is abnormally overexpressed in a variety of tumor types and is associated with cancer progression.1
Immunotherapies, specifically anti-CD38 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) target the CD38+ cancer cells, but also kill other important innate immune effector cells such as CD38+NK cells that recognize and destroy cancer cells, or virus-infected cells.
1 Dwivedi S, Rendón-Huerta EP, Ortiz-Navarrete V, Montaño LF. CD38 and Regulation of the Immune Response Cells in Cancer. J Oncol. 2021;2021:6630295. Published 2021 Feb 27.