SINGAPORE, April 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Hummingbird Bioscience, an innovative clinical-stage biotech company focused on developing precision therapies against hard-to-drug targets to improve treatment outcomes, today announced that the company will be presenting pre-clinical data on its BCMA-TACI dual-specific T cell engager, HMBD-009, at the 2021 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting taking place 9-14 April.
HMBD-009 is Hummingbird's next-generation T cell program that uniquely targets both B cell maturation antigen (BCMA) and Transmembrane activator and CAML Interactor (TACI), proteins commonly overexpressed in multiple myeloma, the second most common hematologic malignancy and a leading cause of cancer deaths in the US.
Developed with Hummingbird's Rational Antibody Discovery platform, HMBD-009 is engineered to bind strongly and specifically to an optimal yet elusive epitope shared by BCMA and TACI. Pre-clinical studies demonstrate that HMBD-009 binding can specifically trigger antibody-mediated anti-tumor responses to cells expressing BCMA and/or TACI proteins. In addition, when used in a T cell engager format (anti-CD3) the dual-specific engager can direct an immune response to kill those cancer cells expressing BCMA and TACI proteins without affecting other cells.
"Current immunotherapies that target BCMA in multiple myeloma patients can fail if BCMA expression is lost from the cancer cells. Importantly, these cells also express other cancer associated proteins such as TACI," said Dr Jerome Boyd-Kirkup, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Hummingbird. "Dual targeting of BCMA and TACI is an innovative strategy to overcome the issue of resistance caused by BCMA antigen loss, and our data suggests that this will improve therapeutic outcomes. We are excited to continue the development of this important new therapy for patients with multiple myeloma."
The abstract and presentation details at AACR are as follows:
Poster Number and Title:
1889 - Dual-specific antibodies that bind to BCMA and TACI (HMBD-009) enable better targeting of multiple myeloma in pre-clinical models
PO.IM02.10. Therapeutic Antibodies, Including Engineered Antibodies (immunology, Clinical Research Excluding Trials)
Fabien M. Decaillot
April 10, 2021, 8:30 AM - 11:59 PM EDT
The abstract can be found on AACR's website.
HMBD-009 is a dual-specific T cell engager that targets BCMA and TACI that are commonly co-expressed in multiple myeloma (MM). Current immunotherapies for MM can be limited by resistance mechanisms involving loss of the BCMA antigen. TACI expression largely overlaps with BCMA in patients with MM and represents an alternative immunotherapy target. Dual targeting of BCMA and TACI therefore has the potential to overcome the resistance mechanisms in current immunotherapies that target BCMA alone.
In-vitro, HMBD-009 has been shown to specifically bind BCMA and TACI to more efficiently kill multiple myeloma cells. HMBD-009, therefore, has the potential to extend the anti-tumor effect in patients resistant to anti-BCMA therapies. Dual-specific T cell engager efficiently targeting both BCMA and TACI represent a promising new strategy in the treatment of multiple myeloma.
About Hummingbird Bioscience
Hummingbird Bioscience is an innovative clinical-stage biotech company focused on developing precision therapies against hard-to-drug targets to improve treatment outcomes. We harness the latest advances in systems biology and data science to better understand and solve the underlying causes of disease and guide development of our therapeutics.
Enabled by our proprietary Rational Antibody Discovery platform, we discover and engineer precision therapies against optimal yet elusive epitopes on important targets that have not been successfully drugged, unlocking novel mechanisms of action. We are advancing a rich pipeline of first- and best-in-class precision therapies in oncology and autoimmunity, in collaboration with global partners in academia and industry.
Our highly experienced teams in Singapore and the US span antibody discovery, pharmacology, production and clinical development. Together we aim to accelerate the journey of new drugs from concept to clinical care. For more information, please visit www.hummingbirdbioscience.com, and follow Hummingbird on LinkedIn and Twitter (@hummingbirdbio).
 Kazandjian. Multiple myeloma epidemiology and survival: A unique malignancy. Semin Oncol. 2016;43(6):676-681
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