Our targeted approach
Antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) landscape
Antibodies need to target molecules expressed at high levels by the tumor that are absent or expressed at low levels in healthy tissues. The antibody must bind to a distinct antigen preferentially expressed on to tumor cells or to other cells in the tumor microenvironment and deliver its toxic payload effectively. To ensure delivery of the toxic payload only to tumors, the linker is engineered to release the payload only when it is cleaved by tumor-specific enzymes. Additionally, the conjugation strategy used to join the antibody to the linker and payload is equally as important. Traditional, nonspecific conjugation techniques have led to varying amounts of payloads attached to random regions of the antibody, which can negatively impact stability and activity.
An expansive opportunity exists to develop more effective ADCs that lead to improved clinical outcomes for patients with difficult-to-treat cancers.
Our approach to ADCs
ADCs deliver potent cancer-killing agents directly to tumor cells. Our technology platform is designed to enable us to develop safer and more effective ADCs.
Current immuno-oncology (IO) therapeutics’ shortcomings
Over the past decade, IO therapeutics has brought a unique approach to cancer treatment. The advent of immune checkpoint inhibitors has shifted the treatment paradigm by targeting the pathways that cancer cells use to avoid the immune system. Despite the progress we have seen, many patients do not respond or stop responding to currently approved immunotherapies.
Response rates remain low for most patients, particularly for tumors with low levels of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). These non-inflamed (i.e., “cold”) tumors can suppress the immune response through a variety of mechanisms.
Deeper investigation around dysfunctional TILs and signaling pathways that prevent immune cells from entering cold tumors is essential. Developing new therapies that overcome immune suppression and facilitate the infiltration of TILs into the tumor tissue may benefit more patients in need.
Our approach to IO
Pyxis Oncology is building a diverse portfolio of immunotherapies that target broad immune regulatory mechanisms as well as novel immune checkpoints.