Ascendo highlights the limitless potential of the adaptive immune pathway for future cancer immunotherapies at the 2022 International BIO convention

The theme of this year’s BIO conference 2022 was ‘limitless’ – what does this mean to Ascendo?

Approximately 75% of patients with solid tumors do not respond to current immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies1,2. Although there has been enormous progress in cancer treatments and even cures for some cancers, such as estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer and melanomas, we are a long way from curing some of the most devastating types of cancer.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors have shown a lot of promise in certain patients, but only a small number are responsive to therapies on the market because they target pre-existing effector cells in the tumor microenvironment only. Current approaches target the adaptive immune pathway, however, targeting this alone does not fully utilize the full momentum of body’s immune cycle. Overcoming bottlenecks in cancer immunotherapy requires effective cross-talk between the innate and adaptive immune pathways, a process which until now, has been difficult to achieve.

Our research shows that the innate pathway holds the potential to deliver regulation of the natural immune response to cancer by activating natural control pathways. We’ve discovered a way to reinvigorate the body’s natural immune cells to coordinate a powerful attack on cancer cells. Our approach of targeting the innate pathway improves the interface between both the immune and adaptive immune systems to command a fast and effective immune response.

At BIO 2022, we revealed our breakthrough, pre-clinical monoclonal antibody, ASD141, a revolutionary approach to cancer immunotherapy. In the near future, we will share more insights on the impact of target protein, TLT-1, on the body’s immune response, and how ASD141 blocks the immunosuppression caused by the natural action of TLT-1.

We are excited to be leading scientific developments in this field. Our thanks go to the organizers of BIO and the industry colleagues we met through one-on-one partnering.

1. Schoenfeld, Adam J., and Matthew D. Hellmann. “Acquired resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors.” Cancer cell 37.4 (2020): 443-455.
2. Haslam A, Prasad V. Estimation of the Percentage of US Patients With Cancer Who Are Eligible for and Respond to Checkpoint Inhibitor Immunotherapy Drugs. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(5):e192535. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.2535