Data included in a second poster presentation suggest a key functional role for EpCAM - the tumor associated antigen targeted by MT110 - in tumor biology. In collaboration with Olivier Gires, Ph.D. at the University Clinic of Munich in Grosshadern, Germany, it was discovered that EpCAM signals into the cell nucleus via pathways known to control the expression of proto- oncogenes (abstract C175). This establishes EpCAM as a signal transducer of cancer cells and explains how EpCAM induces cell proliferation and oncogene expression. EpCAM is found widely expressed on human cancers and is also found on so called 'cancer stem cells' from colon, pancreas, prostate and breast tumors.
In a third poster presentation, a BiTE antibody related to MT110 has shown therapeutic activity in mice with very significant tumor inhibition at well tolerated doses (abstract C270). These data suggest that EpCAM-specific BiTE antibodies can distinguish between EpCAM expressed on tumor cells and EpCAM that is expressed on healthy epithelial cells. The mode of tumor cell lysis of MT110 was found to be largely dependent on the pore-forming protein perforin, which is upregulated and then targeted by cytotoxic T cells activated by BiTE antibodies targeted at EpCAM (abstract C267).
"MT110 is expected to be the second BiTE antibody in clinical development and our first BiTE antibody targeting solid tumors," commented Patrick Baeuerle, the Chief Scientific Officer of Micromet. "With the BiTE antibody binding to MCSP, we hope to address the high medical need of patients suffering from melanoma, a disease where T cell-based therapies have already shown activity. Moreover, the research reported supports our understanding of the potent, highly specific and controlled mode of action of BiTE antibodies."
All of these abstracts can be viewed on the AACR website at http://www.aacr.org.
|SOURCE Micromet, Inc.|
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