Our anti-GITR mAb is a fully human agonistic antibody that binds and triggers signaling in GITR expressing cells. GITR is a co-stimulatory molecule of the TNF receptor family and is expressed on activated T cells, B cells, natural killer (“NK”) and regulatory T cells (“Treg”). As a co-stimulatory molecule, GITR engagement increases proliferation, activation, and cytokine production of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Our anti-GITR mAb abrogates immunosuppressive activity of natural Treg on expansion of T-effector cells. GITR-specific agonistic mAbs have been shown to induce tumor regression in vivo through the activation of CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells and NK cells in a number of tumor models.
We plan to develop an anti-GITR antibody for oncology indications, including, but not limited to, the treatment of patients with NSCLC and RCC. In March 2015, we entered into a partnership agreement to co-develop an anti-GITR antibody for hematological oncological indications with TGTX. We believe that an anti-GITR antibody has the potential to be effective in many oncological indications as a mono therapy or in combination with anti-PD-L1 or anti-CAIX as well as other anti-tumor immune response potentiating compounds and other targeted therapies.
We licensed the exclusive worldwide rights to anti-GITR antibodies from Dana-Farber in March 2015. Currently we are in preclinical development for this program.