Nature Immunology spotlights Alchemab's cancer therapy potential

By Isabel Cameron

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Cancer Immune system Oncology Research

Alchemab Therapeutics, an antibody discovery firm known for identifying natural antibodies in disease-resistant individuals, has published a peer-reviewed article titled "Predictability of B cell clonal persistence and immunosurveillance in breast cancer" in Nature Immunology.

The senior author Rachael Bashford-Rogers is a co-founder of Alchemab and the paper was a collaboration between the Cancer Dynamics Group at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, (ICR), the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge and Alchemab.

Alchemab is currently building a broad pipeline of protective therapeutics for hard-to-treat diseases, with an initial focus on neurodegenerative conditions and oncology.

Jane Osbourn, chief scientific officer and co-founder of Alchemab, said: “Immunotherapies have transformed the outlook for a range of different cancers but, unfortunately, they still only work for a minority of patients.

“We are making great strides in our understanding of the role of B cells in the adaptive immune system, but if we are to develop broader and better immunotherapies, overcoming limitations of existing treatments, we need a deeper understanding of how they interact with cancer as it grows and spreads.

“This paper has given us an important perspective on the role that B cells play in the immune response to cancer and that will help us to develop improved therapies to treat these deadly diseases.”

The company has developed a highly differentiated platform which enables the identification of novel drug targets and therapeutics by analysis of patient antibody repertoires.

The platform uses well-defined patient samples, deep B cell sequencing, and computational analysis to identify convergent protective antibody responses among individuals that are susceptible but resilient to specific diseases.

In cancer, Alchemab focuses on identifying antibodies from patients with certain solid tumors who are long-term survivors of the disease.

In preliminary work, Alchemab has identified antibodies associated with checkpoint inhibition, angiogenesis, and cytokine modulation in cancer survivors.

The opportunity to identify novel antibodies and targets associated with cancer survivors represents a unique approach to therapeutic development in oncology.

Alchemab’s recent study delved into breast cancer immunosurveillance using biopsy tissue from metastatic and early breast cancer patients.

By merging BCR, TCR, DNA, and RNA-seq data from patients with multiple metastatic sites and those undergoing neoadjuvant therapy, persistent clones were identified across therapy and metastases.

Findings revealed evolving B and T cell responses in tandem with cancer genomes, reflecting tumor mutational patterns.

Distinct B cell clones linked with metastatic surveillance and persistence emerged, demonstrating predictability via deep sequence analysis, applicable to diverse immune disorders.

According to Alchemab, this work helps lay a foundation to prioritize antibody sequences for therapeutic targeting in cancer and immune disorders.

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