Challenges of Existing Therapies
The first generation of immunotherapies have been focused on disrupting the PD-L1/PD-1 pathway, to prevent tumors from escaping the body’s immune response. This represented the first great paradigm shift in the treatment of cancer.
However, whilst effective in specific individuals with specific cancers, the response rate is only around 30% and far fewer have greater than five-year survival.
The explanation for this limited response is that cancers respond to the pressure of PD-1 therapies by developing new mechanisms to suppress the immune system.
What is iTeos Doing to Solve This?
iTeos is developing next-generation therapies to close the escape pathways that tumor cells use to overcome PD-1 therapy. iTeos has identified two new mechanisms that PD-1 treated tumors use to evade the immune system, and is developing therapies that target these pathways to be used in combination with PD-1 therapies, or after they lose effectiveness:
- Adenosine-mediated immune suppression of immune cells
- Treg immune suppression of immune cells
iTeos’ approach represents a second great paradigm shift in the development of effective cancer therapeutics ‒ identifying and neutralizing the tumor escape mechanisms to enable treatment of a greater proportion of cancer patients.