Anti-CD115 in Oncology

At the end of 2016, ElsaLys Biotech acquired the development and market rights of anti-CD115 TG3003 (as of now ELB041) from TRANSGENE. This antibody is directed against the growth factor receptor M-CSF (Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor) that is to be found on the surface of macrophages and more generally, on all cells of the so-called myeloid lineage.

Nested in the heart of the tumor microenvironment, macrophages are extremely versatile cells. Some of them - macrophages associated with type 1 tumors (M1) - are powerful tumor killers, when their type 2 (M2) alter egos suppress the immune response and facilitate the growth and spread of cancer cells. Thus, in most cancers, the strong presence of these macrophages M2 in the center of the tumor is considered as a factor of poor prognosis. With the anti-CD115 ELB041 antibody ElsaLys Biotech intends to inhibits these deleterious macrophages.

ELB041 is endowed with a dual mechanism of action: 

  1. It modulates the activity of the M-CSF receptor (immune checkpoint inhibitor or ICI) lifting selectively the immunosuppression mediated by the M2 macrophages while preventing an increase, potentially toxic, in the concentration of M-CSF in the blood (as is the case with other anti-CD115).

  2. It restores the immune system’s ability to destroy tumor cells (Antibody-Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity or ADCC).

Beyond that, a series of in vitro and in vivo studies has already demonstrated that ELB041 was equally capable of blocking the formation of osteoclasts (myeloid cells that contribute to the pain induced by the destruction of bone tissue associated with certain metastases) but also of potentiating the action of anti-angiogenic drugs (opening up new perspectives for our ELB021 program). 

The objective of ElsaLys Biotech is to initiate the clinical evaluation of ELB041 before the end of 2018. In this context, the Company has initiated a preclinical study targeting proof-of-concept in immuno-oncology.