Targeting the adenosine pathway.
CD39 was initially discovered as a novel “checkpoint inhibitor” by OREGA Biotech’s cofounder Dr. Armand Bensussan. It is expressed on both regulatory T cells and tumor cells and plays a major role in promoting immunosuppression through the pathway degrading adenosine triphosphate (ATP) into immunosuppressive adenosine. Adenosine binds adenosine receptor at the cell surface of immune effector cells and suppresses their function, thereby allowing immune escape and tumor progression.
The humanized CD39-blocking monoclonal antibodies inhibits membrane and soluble CD39. It prevents the production of immunosuppressive adenosine and promote the accumulation of peritumoral ATP in the tumor microenvironment, thereby stimulating immune cell-mediated killing of cancer cells and favoring therapy-induced immunogenic cell death.
The program has been licensed to Innate Pharma (2016) and further partnered with AstraZeneca (2018).
Phase 1 (2020): The anti-CD39 mAb (code : IPH5201) is currently in Phase I clinical trial (NCT04261075)
Phase 2 (2022) : The anti-CD39 mAb (code : IPH5201) to advance to phase 2 study in lung cancer (press release).