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 critical pathways involved in the proliferation, migration, and apoptosis of diseased cells and have the potential to transform the treatment of oncological and malignant hematological diseases.
The company’s lead immuno-oncology candidate asunercept (APG101) has demonstrated statistically significant efficacy 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. Eight of the 20 patients which had been recruited in the trial showed a marked reduction of transfusion frequency for 6 months. Asunercept was generally well tolerated.
Asunercept ’s unique, dual mode of action supports its significant potential for the treatment of other solid tumors beyond glioblastoma.
In addition, Apogenix’ highly qualified 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 92 patients suffering from solid tumors, non-Hodgkins's lymphoma (NHL) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML).