Apmonia Therapeutics’ lead program is a peptide-based technology, named AP-01 or TAX2, targeting tumor-overexpressed thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) in order to prevent CD47 receptor activation.
AP-01 acts as a modulator of the tumor-tolerant microenvironment, reprogramming highly vascularized tumors into poorly angiogenic ones while concomitantly activating the tumor-inhibiting immune system. Thanks to its unique mode of action, AP-01 does not recapitulate the hematologic toxicities related to CD47 blockade, hence reaching the full potential of targeting this axis for cancer therapy.
Large body of in vivo efficacy data support the proof-of-concept for AP-01 use as an anti-cancer therapy. TAX2 activates the adaptive (tumor-specific) immune response, as demonstrated by activation of T-cells, production of interferon gamma and significant tumor reduction. The T cell stimulatory activities of AP-01 also make it an excellent candidate for combination therapies in the context of a broad immune-oncology approach.
Current focus for clinical development is ovarian cancer, an orphan indication. Other indications including glioblastoma as well as colorectal and pancreatic cancer will be targeted by the company.
Antiplatelet drugs are administered to patients to reduce their likelihood of experiencing cardiovascular events, such as stroke or myocardial infarction, as well as to delay the rate of peripheral arterial diseases progression. A major drawback from current medications is the increased risk of bleeding. Due to this critical safety caveat, these drugs (i.e. aspirin and thienopyridines) are contraindicated in patients with pathological bleeding issues and/or experiencing surgical procedures.
TSP-1 binding to CD47 plays a critical role during platelet activation and thrombosis. Our pioneering results obtained from animals demonstrate that TAX2 peptide should be considered as a new strategy of high therapeutic interest in controlling platelet activation and related thrombotic disorders, while being associated with a favorable safety profile and low bleeding risk.
Research efforts around next generation candidates take advantage of strong expertise in protein/protein interaction analysis as well as molecular design to build a pipeline of highly selective and safer drug candidates for cancer therapy, with the potential to address valuable markets with high unmet need.