Our context-dependent therapeutics are a new class of protein drugs that are only active when bound to a target molecule.
Cancer cells actively suppress and evade the immune system in order to survive. While cytokines with broad immuno-stimulatory activity can increase the anti-tumor immune response, many have significant dose-limiting toxicities. Cytokines which act when and where they're needed have the potential to amplify the anti-tumor immune response while reducing systemic toxicity.
The sensor consists of an antibody binding domain that can bind a tissue- or cell type-specific protein or metabolic marker. Following sensor binding, the protein therapeutic undergoes a conformational change into an active form. Sensors can be designed to target any molecule that an antibody can bind, including native proteins, modified proteins, and metabolites.
The therapeutic consists of a protein drug such as a cytokine, an antibody binding domain, a receptor, or an enzyme, that is only active once the sensor component has bound its target.