Enumeral is focused on immune checkpoints, which are proteins on immune cells that coordinate and regulate appropriate immune responses but can become dysregulated in disease. We are currently engaged in the discovery and development of antibodies targeting PD-1, OX40 and Lag-3, which are three functionally related checkpoint proteins expressed on the surface of a variety of human immune cells.
Our platform can rapidly identify potential commercially relevant antibody candidates. In 2013, we screened for anti-PD-1 antibodies and within three months identified multiple diverse and novel antibodies that bind to the PD-1 checkpoint protein. Two of these antibodies contained sequences similar to those in two different approved PD-1 inhibitors. Recent reports indicate that these two approved antibodies exhibit different side effect profiles in patients, suggesting they may have fundamentally different mechanisms of action. Differences between similar antibodies, highlighting a general lack of understanding of the precise mechanisms of action of immunotherapies, may limit further development and commercialization of these antibodies and endanger label expansion.
Antibodies targeting PD-1, OX40 and Lag-3 may also have application in inflammatory, autoimmune and infectious diseases, in addition to cancer, and we believe our technology enables us to determine rational development strategies across these diseases.
We are actively generating and validating lead antibody drug candidates targeted to checkpoint proteins with our platform. We are employing our platform to rapidly identify diverse and proprietary antibodies from our own antibody libraries sources including immunized mice and human patient donors. After completing initial preclinical studies in 2015, we anticipate identifying partners to undertake further development.