Tusk Therapeutics is working on immunotherapies to ignite the immune system against cancer. The £2.5M grant will help it to accelerate their development.
Tusk Therapeutics focuses on immuno-oncology to ‘harness the power’ of the immune system. One of its candidates is an antibody that targets the CD38 immune checkpoint, which is a marker of cell activation that is expressed by cancer cells. The company has received a £2.5M (€2.8M) grant from Innovate UK, an innovation agency that funds, supports and connects new businesses. The grant will allow Tusk to complete preclinical testing of the antibody and conduct a Phase I trial.
Tusk’s anti-CD38 antibody could help to make CD38 a target for not only hematological malignancies but for solid tumours too. The antibody is being developed to modulate the tumor microenvironment, allowing the immune system to attack the cancer.
But, Tusk has some catching up to do yet, with a number of biotechs already working on CD38, including Genmab and its Phase III candidate, daratumumab, and MorphoSys, which recently enjoyed the approval of its first antibody. Unfortunately, the two are now locked in a legal battle over IP, so let’s hope this doesn’t stunt the progress being made.
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