Phio, AgonOx partner on T cell-based cancer immunotherapies

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

March 1, 2021 -- Phio Pharmaceuticals and AgonOx have announced a partnership to develop T cell-based cancer immunotherapies.

The collaboration will be based on Phio Pharmaceutical's Intasyl product candidate, PH-762, and AgonOx's double positive tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte technology.

PH-762 is an RNA interference (RNAi) compound that targets the protein programmed cell death 1 (PD-1), which acts to prevent T cells from attacking other cells in the body; PH-762 blocks PD-1 from preventing T cells from attacking cancer cells. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy extracts T cells from the patient's own tumor. Those cells are then expanded and infused back into the patient, where they recognize the tumor and attack the cancer cells, according to Phio and AgonOx. The companies believe that the combination of PH-762 with tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy will improve cancer treatment.

The two firms will conduct a clinical study of PH-762-treated tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes primarily for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and cervical cancer. The trial will begin enrolling participants later this year. Phio will financially support AgonOx for the clinical trial and will be entitled to royalty payments based on future development milestones for the double positive tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte technology, the companies said.

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