Genagon has characterized a novel transmembrane protein target ubiquitously expressed on epithelial cancers as well as on tumor stroma cells. The dynamics of the target protein translocation between cell compartments enables a rapid internalization of drug conjugated antibodies resulting in efficient killing of not only tumor cells but also of harmful tumor-associated stroma cells. This creates a unique and unprecedented opportunity to fight a large variety of solid tumors with the same cost-effective drug.
The tumor microenvironment is a complex structure of cancer cells recruiting innate immune cells to protect the tumor and promote its growth. Disrupting this interplay is a potent tool for cancer therapies. Genagon pioneered a way to simultaneously target cancer cells and detrimental macrophages and innate immune cells.
Killing of not only tumor cells and harmful tumor-associated macrophages directly pave the way for complete tumor clearance with a significantly decreased risk for future relapses.
Antibody-Drug Conjugates are highly potent biopharmaceutical drugs built by attaching a small cytotoxic molecule or another therapeutic agent to an antibody. Using the antibody’s property to target a specific antigen only found on target cells, ADCs deliver the highly potent drugs with a very high specificity to target cells whilst sparing healthy cells. In this way ADCs maximize the efficacy and minimize systemic exposure with associated side effects. ADCs combine the two major advantages of chemotherapy and treatment with biologicals: they are cost-effective and at the same time highly specific with high efficacy and minor systemic effects. Genagon is exploring several ADC assets including the lead drug candidate, GEN201.