Trillium Therapeutics Expands CD47 Program Into Solid Tumors Through a Broad Academic Collaboration
August 7, 2014 (Source: Marketwired) — Trillium Therapeutics Inc. (“Trillium”) (TSX:TR)(OTCQX:SCTPF), an immuno-oncology company developing innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer, today announced that it has entered into a collaboration with academic investigators in London, Ontario to explore the therapeutic potential of SIRPaFc, its CD47-blocking agent, in a variety of solid tumor models. The research will be conducted in the laboratories of Drs. James Koropatnick and Ting-Yim Lee, at the Lawson Health Research Institute and the Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario. Trillium’s funding will be matched 1:1 by a grant from the Ontario Research Fund – Research Excellence (ORF-RE), providing the collaboration with a robust research budget nearing $600,000.
“We always welcome opportunities to work with accomplished academic investigators and institutions who are receptive to our needs as a commercial enterprise,” commented company CEO, Dr. Niclas Stiernholm. “We expect to enter into several more collaborations in the future, especially when it comes to combination studies with other immunotherapies.”
Trillium is developing a novel antibody-like fusion protein (SIRPaFc) that blocks the activity of CD47, a molecule that is upregulated on cancer cells to evade the host immune system. SIRPaFc is initially being developed as a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML), with a clinical study anticipated to begin in H2/2015. Recent data suggest that CD47 is highly expressed by a variety of both liquid and solid tumors, and CD47 blockade has demonstrated efficacy in numerous xenograft models. Furthermore, CD47 blockade synergizes with several marketed anti-cancer antibodies, raising the possibility that SIRPaFc can be used in a combination therapy. Consequently, expansion of SIRPaFc therapy to indications beyond AML is a top priority for Trillium.
“Uncovering the full clinical potential of CD47 blockade in the treatment of cancer is a significant task and will require academic collaborations and partnerships,” commented Trillium’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Bob Uger. “Working with world class oncology experts with experience in established tumor models will allow us to expand our understanding of this pathway and the ways it may be exploited in the treatment of cancer, either alone or in combination with other therapies”.
The company also announced that following a scientific and commercial evaluation of its tigecycline program, as well as the lack of a strategic fit with the company’s current focus and expertise, the license agreement underpinning the program has been terminated and all rights have been returned to University Health Network.
“We believe that all our efforts and resources should be focused on our immuno-oncology programs, in particular on a greatly expanded SIRPaFc program,” commented Dr. Stiernholm.
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About Trillium Therapeutics:
Trillium Therapeutics Inc. is an immuno-oncology company developing innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer. The Company has two premier preclinical programs, SIRPaFc and a CD200 monoclonal antibody (mAb), which target two key immunoregulatory pathways that tumor cells exploit to evade the host immune system. SIRPaFc is an antibody-like fusion protein that blocks the activity of CD47, a molecule that is upregulated on tumor cells in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and numerous other malignancies. The CD200 mAb is a fully human monoclonal antibody that blocks the activity of CD200, an immunosuppressive molecule that is overexpressed by many hematopoietic and solid tumors. For more information visit: www.trilliumtherapeutics.com
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information:
This press release may contain forward-looking statements, which reflect Trillium’s current expectation regarding future events. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results, events or developments to be materially different from any future results, events or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties are described in the company’s ongoing quarterly and annual reporting. Forward looking information in this release includes our beliefs about the importance of CD47 as a drug target on tumors; the potential for demonstrating anti-tumor activity in preclinical models both as a monotherapy and in combination studies other therapies; and that we will gain a greater understanding of the CD47 pathway through the conduct of these studies. Except as required by applicable securities laws, TTI undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Neither TSX nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
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