Oncotelic Therapeutics Announces Clinical Linkage of TGFB2 and IFNGR2 in Pediatric DMG Patients

AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Jan. 16, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Oncotelic Therapeutics, Inc (OTCQB:OTLC) announced today the peer reviewed publication of Transforming Growth Factor Beta 2 (TGFB2) and Interferon Gamma Receptor 2 (IFNGR2) mRNA Levels in the Brainstem Tumor Microenvironment (TME) Significantly Impact Overall Survival in Pediatric DMG Patients in the Special Issue Gliomas: Signaling Pathways, Molecular Mechanisms and Therapeutic Approaches.

"In light of our foundational discovery that elevated levels of TGF-B2 worsen mortality in various cancers, including Diffuse Midline Glioma (DMG), we have further elucidated the underlying mechanisms, particularly focusing on the impact of TGF-B2 on interferon signaling. We hope that sharing these findings from our research team will contribute to the eradication of cancer," stated Dr. Vuong Trieu, CEO and Chairman of Oncotelic.

IFNGR2 is a critical component of the IFN-γ signaling pathway, playing a significant role in mediating the immune system's defense against cancer. Its function in enhancing immune surveillance and direct anti-tumor effects making its induction an attractive target for cancer immunotherapy- including suppression of TGF-B2 by OT-101.

The article can be accessed for free online: https://www.mdpi.com/2227-9059/12/1/191


This hypothesis-generating study characterized the mRNA expression profiles and prognostic impacts of antigen-presenting cell (APC) markers (CD14, CD163, CD86, and ITGAX/CD11c) in pediatric brainstem diffuse midline glioma (pbDMG) tumors. We also assessed the mRNA levels of two therapeutic targets, transforming growth factor beta 2 (TGFB2) and interferon gamma receptor 2 (IFNGR2), for their biomarker potentials in these highly aggressive pbDMG tumors. The expressions of CD14, CD163, and ITGAX/CD11c mRNAs exhibited significant decreases of 1.64-fold (p = 0.037), 1.75-fold (p = 0.019), and 3.33-fold (p < 0.0001), respectively, in pbDMG tumors relative to those in normal brainstem/pons samples. The pbDMG samples with high levels of TGFB2 in combination with low levels of APC markers, reflecting the cold immune state of pbDMG tumors, exhibited significantly worse overall survival outcomes at low expression levels of CD14, CD163, and CD86. The expression levels of IFNGR2 and TGFB2 (1.51-fold increase (p = 0.002) and 1.58-fold increase (p = 5.5 × 10−4), respectively) were significantly upregulated in pbDMG tumors compared with normal brainstem/pons samples. We performed multivariate Cox proportional hazards modelling that showed TGFB2 was a prognostic indicator (HR for patients in the TGFB2high group of pbDMG patients = 2.88 (1.12–7.39); p = 0.028) for poor overall survival (OS) and was independent of IFNGR2 levels, the age of the patient, and the significant interaction effect observed between IFNGR2 and TGFB2 (p = 0.015). Worse survival outcomes in pbDMG patients when comparing high versus low TGFB2 levels in the context of low IFNGR2 levels suggest that the abrogation of the TGFB2 mRNA expression in the immunologically cold tumor microenvironment can be used to treat pbDMG patients. Furthermore, pbDMG patients with low levels of JAK1 or STAT1 mRNA expression in combination with high levels of TGFB2 also exhibited poor OS outcomes, suggesting that the inclusion of (interferon-gamma) IFN-γ to stimulate and activate JAK1 and STAT1 in antitumor APC cells present the brainstem TME can enhance the effect of the TGFB2 blockade.

About Oncotelic

Oncotelic (f/k/a Mateon Therapeutics, Inc.), was formed in the State of New York in 1988 as OXiGENE, Inc., was reincorporated in the State of Delaware in 1992, and changed its name to Mateon Therapeutics, Inc. in 2016, and Oncotelic Therapeutics, Inc. in November 2020. Oncotelic is seeking to leverage its deep expertise in oncology drug development to improve treatment outcomes and survival of cancer patients with a special emphasis on rare pediatric cancers. Oncotelic has rare pediatric designation for Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (“DIPG” through OT-101) through its 45% joint venture, GMP Biotechnology Limited, melanoma (through CA4P), and Acute Myeloid Leukemia (through OXi 4503). Oncotelic acquired PointR Data Inc. in November 2019 to build an AI driven biotechnology company. Further, Oncotelic acquired AL-101, during the 4th quarter of 2021, for the intranasal delivery of apomorphine. We intend to develop AL-101 for the treatment of Parkinson Disease, erectile dysfunction, female sexual disorder and hypoactive sexual desire disorder. All these ailments have a very large population suffering from them and there is a need for treatments for each. For more information on AL-101, refer to our Annual Report on Form 10-K/A filed with the SEC on April 19, 2023.

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