AbbVie's oral cancer drug trial shows it may provide 'anti-tumor immunity'

Research for a new oral cancer medication from pharmaceutical giant AbbVie yielded positive preclinical data that shows it "enhances anti-tumor immunity," according to an Oct. 4 news release. 

The drugmaker claims the medication — known as ABBV-CLS-484 — is potentially a "first-in-class" discovery as a "promising new strategy for cancer immunotherapy." It works in combination with PTPN2/N1, a phosphatase inhibitor, by activating a tumor's response to interferon — a protein that is part of the body's natural defense — and stimulating the function of multiple immune cell subsets that have a cascading effect to promote immunity against tumors. 

Results of the phase 1 trial were published Oct. 4 in Nature, as a joint research effort including AbbVie experts, the Broad Institute of MIT, Harvard and Calico Life Sciences.

"This is an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate how immune responses work," said Robert Manguso, PhD, the cosenior author on the study, an associate member at the Broad Institute, an assistant professor at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Cancer Research and Harvard Medical School. "The ability to further explore this signaling pathway in clinical studies is really important."

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