Emerging "Immuno-Oncology" treatment strategies are focused on mobilizing the body’s natural immune defense mechanisms to clear malignant cells. Scientists have been able to generate highly specific immune cells that can directly adhere to and kill tumor cells, as well as drugs to unleash the immune system against cancer. However, a significant drawback of these current strategies remains the lack of efficient tumor localization of anti-tumor cells. This is because mobilized cancer fighting immune cells fail to migrate from the circulation to reach the site of tumor growth. The most important predictor of cancer related mortality for numerous solid tumors such as breast, colon, prostate and other cancers is the failure of immune cells to access the tumor.
7HP technologies are designed to augment the naturally occurring adhesion cascade that facilitates cell movement from blood vessels into tissue. By specifically targeting certain cell adhesion molecules, in particular the integrin VLA-4, 7HP compounds can augment both the adhesion and migration of hematopoietic cells across simulated bone marrow endothelia and stroma.
Preclinical work has demonstrated that 7HP compounds:
Umbilical cord blood transplantation is potentially curative option for a variety of hematologic cancers and genetic diseases. However, the use of cord blood transplant in adolescents and adults is limited by the number of hematopoietic stem cells homing and engrafting into the bone marrow microenvironment. This limited or delayed engraftment can lead to life threatening infections.
Although emerging immuno-oncology products have been able to elicit unprecedented responses in cancers that are easily accessible to immune cells (eg. leukemia), solid tumors may be resistant to such therapies. 7 Hills is developing cost effective, safe therapeutics to overcome such resistance. Our lead compounds have the potential to increase the antitumor activity of numerous emerging cell-based immunotherapies, and enable the use of recently approved drugs to treat solid tumors that are currently refractory to therapy.
7HP compounds target validated cell adhesion pathways that are critical for T cell homing to specific tissues. They are the only known activators of both the VLA-4/VCAM-1 and LFA-1/ICAM-1 cell adhesion axes. Activation of these adhesion pathways could significantly increase the trafficking of endogenous effector lymphocytes (targets of checkpoint blockade therapeutics) or adoptively transferred effectors (like CAR-T cells) into solid tumors.
Pre-clinical studies have shown that 7HP lead compounds: