Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor (ICI) Combination
Immune checkpoints are a normal part of the immune system. Their role is to prevent an immune response from being so strong that it destroys healthy cells in the body.
Immunotherapy drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors work by blocking checkpoint proteins from binding with their partner proteins. This prevents the “off” signal from being sent, allowing the T cells to kill cancer cells.
Unfortunately, many cancers do not respond to immune checkpoint inhibitors.
EC-18 is currently in early-stage preclinical studies in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors to improve the response rate of certain solid cancers.
EC-18’s Mechanism of Action in ICI Combination
As demonstrated in multiple tumor-bearing mice models, EC-18(PLAG) shifts the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) to an immune-enhancing anti-tumor environment by clearing ‘extracellular adenosine (eADO),’ which interferes with the T cell activation in the TME. Therefore, EC-18 as a potent immuno-oncology drug candidate may help resolve the low response rate of current immunotherapeutic modalities alone or in combination with other established therapeutic agents (e.g. chemotherapy or immune checkpoint inhibitors).