Our groundbreaking scientific discoveries led to development of pioneering therapeutics, including dual-functioning antibodies and immune-reprogramming small molecules.
The Challenge: After tumorigenesis, tumors actively use various strategies to delay, alter, and escape immune attack. These strategies, known as "immune escape mechanisms," have prevented the immune system from effectively suppressing tumor growth, leading to cancer progression.
Treatments that block these immune escape mechanisms (eg, CTLA-4, PD-1 / PD-L1, also known as checkpoints) have revolutionized cancer therapy by remodeling the local tumor immunity and restoring antitumor effects.
In most cases, however, the blockade of these checkpoints does not result in sufficient T cell activation to eliminate tumor cells. Furthermore, a large proportion of patients either are refractory to checkpoint inhibitors or develop resistance after an initial response.
Our Approach: Our novel, biological discoveries led to developing a dual-functioning antibody (DFA), GIM-122, that overcomes the cancer-mediated immune suppression and simultaneously stimulates activated T cells.
Highly compelling preclinical data demonstrates that GIM-122 overcomes cancer-mediated resistance and demonstrates potent antitumor activity.
The Challenge: Cancers, with their genomic instability, inflammation, and tissue destruction, can evoke immune escape mechanisms that allow the progression of tumors and prevent their immune eradication.
Central to these processes are regulatory T cells (Tregs) which are suppressive T cells and important to maintain immune homeostasis. Tregs are usually increased in the tumor microenvironment, where they promote tumor development and progression by impeding antitumor responses.
Our Approach: As the success of cancer immunotherapy relies on breaking these immune escape mechanisms, we developed a small molecule (GIM-531) that selectively inhibits the induction and function of Tregs, therefore reprogramming the tumor microenvironment to allow the elimination of the tumor cells.
This approach sets the stage for a first-in-class immunotherapeutic to target Tregs in cancer.
The Challenge: A growing proportion of the world’s population is affected by autoimmune conditions, which strike at any age and represent a staggering health burden.
Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are the master regulators of immune self-tolerance and have a critical role in the prevention of autoimmune diseases. Irregularities in Treg numbers and function are implicated in the development of autoimmune diseases.
Restoring immune homeostasis and tolerance through the promotion, activation, or delivery of Tregs has emerged as a focus for therapies aimed at curing or controlling autoimmune diseases.
Our Approach: We developed a small molecule (GIM-407) that simultaneously enhances the quantity and function of Tregs.
This approach sets the stage for a first-in-class immunotherapeutic to target Tregs in a wide number of autoimmune conditions.
Our lab and office are located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, just outside of Washington, DC, in the heart of the BioHealth Capital Region.