Data on the ARAC (Antigen Release Agent and Checkpoint Inhibitor) technology has been published in Nature Communications (impact factor 17.7). ARAC is built upon our patented nanoparticle platform capable of co-delivering multiple therapeutic agents, while keeping a small size – similar to the size of a virus – suitable for infusion and tumor accumulation. ARAC co-delivers a polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) inhibitor and a PD-L1 antibody to generate cancer specific immune responses. In a metastatic lung tumor model, ARAC reduced the effective doses of free drugs (PLK1 inhibitor and PD-L1 antibody) by 5-fold and the effect was mediated by CD8+ T cells. Importantly, ARAC was also effective in lung tumors that were not responsive to the gold standard immunotherapies, which suggests that ARAC may overcome the clinical limitation of low response rates to immunotherapies.
PDX Pharma in collaboration OHSU is further optimizing the second gen ARAC-02, which is ARAC loaded with immune-stimulant CpG to increase the CD8+ T cell repertoire. These three agents were carefully selected based on their roles in cancer and immune pathways. ARAC-02 can attack tumors directly, train the immune system to attack tumors, and prevent tumors from avoiding the immune system’s attack. The project received a perfect score from the NIH review panel and is now funded by a fast track SBIR award from the National Cancer Institute. We are seeking private investment for IND enabling studies of ARAC-02 for lung cancer treatment as well as funding from the Department of Defense’s Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) for treating triple negative breast cancer.
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