ROCHESTER, NY, Feb. 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Vaccinex, Inc. (Nasdaq: VCNX), a clinical-stage biotechnology company that has developed a differentiated approach to treating cancer and neurodegenerative diseases by inhibiting SEMA4D, said so Announced Today Surface Oncology will exercise its option to license the anti-CCR8 antibody discovered through Vaccinex’s ActivMAb® antibody discovery and novel virus display platform. The antibody SRF114 is a fully human IgG1 anti-CCR8 antibody that selectively degrades immunosuppressive tumor T-regulatory cells (Tregs) and at the same time protects peripheral Tregs. Under the terms of the Surface Oncology agreement, Surface Oncology would pay technology access and license fees in addition to research funding, and Vaccinex would qualify for milestone payments and development license fees.
“We are very excited to continue building on the recent success of our ActivMAb platform by announcing our license agreement with Surface Oncology,” said Ernest Smith, Chief Scientific Officer of Vaccinex. “The presence of Treg in human tumors has been linked to resistance to immunotherapy, and animal studies have shown that blocking CCR8 potentiates inhibition of tumor growth. Data presented at SITC 2020 indicated that SRF114 specifically binds to human CCR8 and induces Treg destruction through antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. We are excited to have been involved in the development of this promising drug candidate and look forward to following the advancement of SRF114 and further interactions with surface oncology. “
ActivMAb, developed by Vaccinex, is a proprietary mammalian cell-based antibody discovery and novel platform for virus detection. The technology has several uses including the discovery of antibodies specific for complex membrane antigens, the discovery of antibodies with optimized developability, and the optimization of proteins for expression and activity. Its novel capabilities enable the selection of unique antibodies against difficult, high value targets, including multi-pass membrane proteins against which small molecule drugs have shown low potency or high toxicity.
About Vaccinex, Inc.
Vaccinex, Inc. is pioneering a differentiated approach to treating neurodegenerative diseases by inhibiting Semaphorin 4D (SEMA4D), a major driver of neuroinflammation. The company’s lead drug candidate, pepinemab, blocks SEMA4D and has the potential to be a disease-modifying treatment for Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases. Beyond neurology, Vaccinex believes that pepinemab when combined with checkpoint inhibitors has the potential to improve objective responses in oncology. The company also intends to leverage its proprietary drug discovery platform ActivMAb® to create opportunities for future pipeline expansions and strategic collaborations.
To the extent that the statements contained in this press release are not descriptions of historical facts regarding Vaccinex, Inc. (“Vaccinex”, “we”, “us” or “our”), they are forward-looking statements that reflect management’s current beliefs reflect and expectations. Words such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “intend”, “potentially”, “advance” and similar expressions or their negatives (as well as other words and expressions referred to ) future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements about the anticipated timing and results of our ongoing and future clinical trials, and our expectations about the potential benefits, activity, and efficacy of our product candidates. Forward-looking statements can involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause our research and preclinical development programs, clinical development programs, future results, performance, or successes to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, uncertainties about the conduct, cost, and completion of preclinical and clinical trials, uncertainties related to regulatory approval, our history of operating losses, and the need to raise additional capital to continue, as well Risks related to our debt, risks related to our reliance on our lead product candidate pepinemab, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and other matters that could affect our development plans or the commercial potential of our product candidates. Unless required by law, we do not assume any obligation to update these forward-looking statements. For further discussion of these and other factors that could cause future results to differ materially from forward-looking statements, see the “Risk Factors” section in our periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the SEC We identified the other risks and uncertainties described in our Form 10-K filed with the SEC on March 9, 2020 and the periodic reports below.
LifeSci Advisors, LLC
Cait Williamson, Ph.D.
LifeSci Communications, LLC