Recent clinical successes in the targeting of immune modulatory receptors have led to a resurgence of interest in the field of immuno-oncology and its potential for cancer treatment. Comprising a network of signaling pathways, the immune system actively protects against disease. However, in the case of cancer, tumor-mediated suppression of the immune system interferes with an effective anti-tumor response and elimination of the malignancy. The potential to restore normal immune regulation in the tumor microenvironment represents the great promise of applying immuno-oncology research to drug discovery.
To that end, NGM has leveraged its powerful biologics platform to demonstrate capabilities in immuno-oncology target discovery and validation, deorphanization of ligand-receptor pairs and cellular metabolism to interrogate immune cell function. This dedicated effort is focused on the identification of new “checkpoint” proteins that prevent the activation and expansion of T cells and the elucidation of novel pathways that regulate the accumulation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells. The engineering of proprietary antibodies and recombinant proteins to promote normal immune regulation of tumors by specifically blocking inhibitory pathways or by reducing suppressive cell populations in the tumor microenvironment have enabled our efforts to develop novel immunotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of cancer.