Multiple Myeloma (MM) is an incurable plasma cell malignancy with significant morbidity and mortality. While proteasome inhibitors and immunomodulatory agents have improved treatment outcomes, most patients eventually relapse.
The Cancer Immunotherapy program at Huntsman Cancer Institute has established a comprehensive portfolio of novel immuno-oncology therapeutic candidates for hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. The proprietary biologics discovery platform includes a fully human antibody phage display library with a diversity of greater than 1010 clones. A number of monoclonal antibodies and CAR T cells against surface antigens, blocking antibodies against cytokines, and immune checkpoints are being advanced. The lead immunotherapy candidate is a monoclonal antibody and CAR T cell therapy targeting a novel surface receptor CD229. CD229 is selectively expressed on MM chemotherapy resistant precursor cells making it attractive for clinical development as a potential cure for MM. Extended applications include B-cell malignancies.