NEW YORK and ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Lycera Corp., a biopharmaceutical company developing breakthrough medicines to treat cancer and autoimmune disease, today announced that the Company will present preclinical research from its novel cancer immunotherapy program at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, which will take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 18-22, 2015.

Specifics for the upcoming poster presentation at the AACR conference are as follows:

Abbreviated Abstract Summary: Agents that enhance activation or release suppression of the immune system could form the basis of new treatments for cancer. The receptor RORγ modulates expression of genes involved in multiple anti-tumor mechanisms. Lycera’s program to advance small molecule RORγ agonists has demonstrated:

  • Select immune cells (Th17 and Tc17) differentiated in the presence of RORγ agonists exhibit decreased expression of inhibitory molecules, such as PD-1, and increased expression of costimulatory molecules. Th17 and Tc17 cells are reported to mediate potent and durable anti-cancer efficacy.
  • In vitro activation of certain Tc17 cells with RORγ agonists generates potent effector cells that control the growth of large EG7 tumors when transferred into a preclinical in vivomodel. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) from this model have enhanced survival and decreased PD-1 expression.
  • Oral administration of RORγ agonists in a preclinical in vivo model significantly inhibits the growth of established, subcutaneous MC38 colon carcinoma tumors.
  • RORγ agonists also inhibit growth of established, subcutaneous 4T1 mammary carcinoma tumors in an in vivo model.

The abstract concluded that, as a transcription modulator, RORγ agonists increase immune activation and decrease immune suppression. These activities translate into robust anti-tumor effects in syngeneic tumor models and represent a promising approach for the treatment of cancer.

Authors: Xiao Hu1, Jacques Moisan1, Charles Lesch1, Yahong Wang1, Xikui Liu1, Rodney Morgan1, David Mertz1, Brian Sanchez1, Dick Bousley1, Clark Taylor1, Chad Van Huis1, Thomas Aicher1, Peter Toogood1, Weiping Zou2, Gary Glick1, Laura L. Carter1.

1 Lycera Corp; 2 University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Dr. Laura Carter, Lycera’s Senior Vice President, Biology, will present the poster at the AACR conference.


About Lycera

Lycera is a biopharmaceutical company advancing novel treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases based on a proprietary portfolio of small molecules designed primarily to either suppress or activate the immune response. The Company’s world-class expertise in distinct, yet complementary, areas of research – immune metabolism, cell signaling and immune cell differentiation – has generated four wholly owned programs, including a lead product candidate to treat inflammatory bowel disease (LYC-30937) expected to enter clinical testing in the first half of 2015. In addition, Lycera has established two collaborations with partner Merck to discover, develop and commercialize small molecule therapies for autoimmune disorders. The Lycera leadership team possesses deep experience from drug discovery and development through commercialization and has established close relationships with renowned thought leaders and clinical researchers worldwide. Lead investors in Lycera include InterWest Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Clarus Ventures and EDF Ventures.