Since the company's foundation in 2005, the Apogenix team has developed a promising portfolio of innovative immuno-oncology therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other malignant diseases. These protein therapeutics target different TNFSF-dependent signaling pathways, thereby restoring the anti-tumor immune response, and thus have the potential to transform the treatment of oncological and malignant hematological diseases.
The company’s lead immuno-oncology candidate asunercept has demonstrated significant improvements in progression-free survival and quality of life as well as a positive trend in overall survival in a controlled phase II proof of concept trial in recurrent glioblastoma, the most frequent and aggressive brain tumor. This milestone was achieved only six years after the initial publication of preclinical data that laid the foundation for the use of asunercept to treat this devastating disease.
Asunercept has also been evaluated in a phase I trial for the treatment of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a stem cell disorder that can lead to severe anemia. Forty percent of patients showed a marked reduction of transfusion frequency during the duration of the trial.
Asunercept ’s unique, dual mode of action supports its significant potential for the treatment of other solid tumors beyond glioblastoma.
In addition, Apogenix’ scientific team has developed the proprietary HERA-ligand technology platform for the development of novel fusion proteins. These fusion proteins offer clear therapeutic advantages over other biologics such as antibodies and have the potential for broad application in oncology.
Apogenix has successfully out-licensed its first program based on this technology platform – TRAIL receptor agonist APG880 (ABBV-621) and derivatives – to Abbvie. In March 2017, AbbVie initiated a clinical phase I study with ABBV-621 in patients suffering from solid tumors, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML).