invIOs and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute start collaboration to study novel small molecule INV501 for treatment of glioblastoma

  • Preclinical study will be conducted by Dr. David Reardon’s research group
  • Immune-activating small molecule INV501 will be tested as treatment for aggressive brain cancer

VIENNA, Austria and BOSTON, Nov. 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- invIOs GmbH (“invIOs”), a privately held biotechnology company developing novel therapies for cancer, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have entered into a preclinical research collaboration to evaluate invIOs’ small molecule INV501 as a potential treatment for glioblastoma.

The collaboration will be led by David Reardon, MD, Clinical Director, Center for Neuro-Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Reardon is a world-renowned expert in brain cancer, particularly glioblastoma research and treatment. The research group will evaluate INV501 alone and in combination with the current standard of care (temozolomide or radiation) or anti-myeloid therapies in preclinical glioblastoma models. Depending on the outcome, further studies to understand the mechanisms of action of INV501 will be conducted.

David Reardon, MD, Clinical Director, Center for Neuro-Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said: “While we have seen many significant advances in other cancers, the pressing medical need for new and effective treatments for glioblastoma cannot be overstated. Glioblastoma continues to be a devastating diagnosis for patients and presents a major challenge to treat. After seeing the initial promising preclinical data on INV501 in solid tumors presented by invIOs, we are excited to test this small molecule that crosses the blood-brain barrier in glioblastoma models. We hope to overcome the protective mechanisms that these aggressive tumors develop to shield themselves from the immune system and ultimately be able to offer patients new treatment options.”

Romana Gugenberger, PhD, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of invIOs, added: “The collaboration with Dr. David Reardon and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an important step forward in our endeavor to develop effective and meaningful therapies for solid tumors that harness the power of the patient’s immune system. Our research supports that INV501 holds great promise as an immunomodulating agent, and, with the combined expertise of our teams, we are poised to validate our early findings and accelerate INV501’s further development towards the clinic and a potential breakthrough in glioblastoma therapy.”

INV501 was identified as part of a phenotypic screen for compounds that can activate T cells. Members of the compound hit series can induce elevated levels of T cell activation markers as well as enhanced secretion of cytokines, which supports tumor-specific killing. Data previously presented at the 2023 Annual Congress of the European Association for Cancer Research (EACR) show that INV501 can selectively enhance tumor-reactive cytotoxicity in preclinical in vivo model systems, resulting in prolonged survival even beyond the end of treatment. Members of the INV501 compound family are orally available showing favorable bioavailability for potent immune therapy. Among these, some compounds can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the glioblastoma micro-environment to initiate anti-tumoral immune reactions.

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the world’s leading centers of cancer research and treatment. Dana-Farber’s mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific inquiry, clinical care, education, community engagement, and advocacy. Dana-Farber is a federally designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

We provide the latest treatments in cancer for adults through Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center and for children through Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is the only hospital with a top 4 U.S. News & World Report Best Cancer Hospital ranking in both adult and pediatric care.

As a global leader in oncology, Dana-Farber is dedicated to a unique and equal balance between cancer research and care, translating the results of discovery into new treatments for patients locally and around the world, offering more than 1,100 clinical trials.

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About invIOs

invIOs is a privately held biotech company based in Vienna, Austria, focusing on the discovery and development of novel therapies for cancer. The invIOs team leverages deep expertise in immune system activation to develop individualized and targeted approaches against solid tumors. invIOs is advancing a pipeline of three programs encompassing small molecule and cell therapy approaches.

EPiC, invIOs’s proprietary cell therapy platform, enables rapid treatment of patients in an out-patient setting. EPiC is a technology platform that allows the creation of personalized cell therapies based on localized processing of a patient’s fresh immune cells. The first asset from the EPiC platform, APN401, is in Phase 1 clinical trials against various solid tumors. The second asset, INV441, is being developed against glioblastoma and is in preclinical evaluation. The third EPiC program, INV451, is a novel CAR-T cell approach against lung cancer being developed with the Medical University of Innsbruck.

INV501 is a novel small molecule candidate that can selectively enhance anti-tumor immune responses. It induces T cell activation, proliferation, and tumor-reactive cytotoxicity. An orally available compound with favorable bioavailability, INV501 is currently in preclinical testing in several solid tumor models and has demonstrated preclinical proof of concept with strong data in multiple solid tumor indications.

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