Philogen´s mission is to develop targeted therapeutics specifically designed for the treatment of cancer and chronic inflammation. For the last 25 years, the company has focused on antibody-based, targeted delivery of therapeutic payloads such as cytokines to the site of disease, thereby increasing the therapeutic activity and reducing side effects in normal tissues
Philogen helped pioneer a vascular targeting approach by developing antibodies, which recognize vascular markers on newly-formed blood vessels, as opposed to targeting diseased cells directly. These new blood vessels are different from mature blood vessels and we have identified that certain proteins such as specific splice variants of fibronectin and tenascin-C act as “vascular markers”. These markers are normally expressed at low or undetectable levels in healthy adult tissues and organs, but are found in abundance around the newly-formed blood vessels associated with many types of cancer. Philogen´s proprietary vascular targeting antibodies have been validated by nuclear imaging in more than 150 cancer patients.
Philogen´s vascular targeting approach seeks to mitigate the limitations of conventional therapies enabling the localized delivery of high concentrations of bioactive agents to the site of disease, while sparing the patient’s healthy organs. Our proprietary targeting antibodies are typically fused to therapeutic payloads, which may display a beneficial action against tumors or other serious conditions (e.g., chronic inflammation). In many cases, we use cytokines as payloads, which are naturally produced by the human body and which modulate the activity of the immune system. Some recombinant cytokines are products on the market, but their systemic administration at therapeutic doses is typically hindered by the side effects observed in healthy organs. To overcome this limitation, we routinely engineer our antibody-cytokine fusions by systematically exploring various molecular formats and by choosing the product which (i) displays favorable biodistribution properties (i.e. accumulation at the site of disease), (ii) shows in vivo activity in preclinical models and (iii) exhibits good manufacturability.
In addition to antibody-based therapeutics, we also develop targeted small molecule therapeutics consisting of small organic ligands coupled to cytotoxic agents (small molecule drug conjugates), immunomodulatory payloads (synthetic bispecifics), radionuclides (small molecule radio conjugates), or adaptors for universal Chimeric Antigen Receptor T cell therapy.
We have extensively demonstrated that our targeting approach results in an improved “therapeutic index” enabling better drug efficacy combined with fewer side effects opening new avenues in cancer therapy.
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