OSE, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center ally to advance anti-CD127 NSCLC candidate

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's Prasad Adusumilli. (Courtesy of MSK)

OSE Immunotherapeutics has teamed up with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to work on its anti-CD127 antibody OSE-703. The research program will assess the potential for the candidate to treat non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other solid tumors.

MSK’s Prasad Adusumilli, M.D. will oversee the research. Adusumilli is a physician-scientist whose laboratory is best known for its work to adapt CAR-T immunotherapies to thoracic cancers, mainly those affecting the lung. OSE thinks this background makes Adusumilli the right person to drive OSE-703 forward.

“The combination of his pioneering expertise in immuno-oncology, especially within CAR-T cell immunotherapy, and the therapeutic potential of OSE-703, will afford us optimal conditions to establish this promising product candidate’s efficacy profile and identify an appropriate development approach," OSE CEO Dominique Costantini said in a statement.

OSE still has a lot of work to do on OSE-703. The asset is yet to secure a spot on OSE’s presentation of pipeline prospects that have advanced to preclinical and beyond. And OSE’s references to the asset prior to the MSK news were limited to brief discussions of its intellectual property status.

The asset, formerly known as Effi-3, is a monoclonal antibody against the extracellular domain of the alpha chain of IL-7R. Expression of IL-7R is associated with the presence of features denoting an aggressive cancers, such as large tumors with high-grade morphology and KRAS mutation. As such, expression of IL-7R is linked to poor outcomes. OSE thinks OSE-703 can improve outcomes in NSCLC through antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity against CD127-positive cells.

OSE acquired the asset last year through its takeover of Effimune, which discovered the antibody in collaboration with French public research body Inserm. The standout assets transferred through the deal were Johnson & Johnson-partnered CD28-antagonist FR104 and preclinical-stage checkpoint inhibitor OSE-172. But the deal also included earlier-stage candidates that are now starting to advance toward preclinical development.