Lytix Biopharma will support research in the Pittet Lab, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, to evaluate whether its drug candidate LTX-315 can convert ‘cold’ tumor tissues into immunologically 'hot', T-cell-rich environments. CD8 T cell infiltration into tumors typically is associated with improved response to therapy and increased overall survival.
Mikael J. Pittet is associate professor at Harvard Medical School, and his research group at Massachusetts General Hospital is focusing on the development of treatment options against cancer based on the immune system. Pittet’s lab is also focusing on the discovery of basic aspects of immune cell dynamics that could establish new paradigms for future translational efforts in cancer.
Pittet’s team shall explore LTX-315’s ability to convert ‘cold’ non-T-cell-inflamed tumors into immunologically ‘hot’ T-cell-rich tumor microenvironments. Treatments that induce CD8 T cell infiltration should improve the efficacy of immune checkpoint blockers and other types of immunotherapies. LTX-315 will be investigated in genetically-engineered mouse tumor models that are inadequately infiltrated by CD8 T cells and resist current therapeutic options, including immune checkpoint blockade treatments.
LTX-315 is a first in class oncolytic peptide which has potent anti-tumor activity when injected intratumorally. LTX-315 can induce key immunogenic phenotypes in tumor cells, including ATP and HMGB1 release, which should contribute to recruiting CD8 T cells locally.“We are excited to initiate a scientific collaboration with Mikael Pittet,” says CSO, and professor Øystein Rekdal. “Working with Mikael Pittet gives Lytix an excellent opportunity to further evaluate the potential of LTX-315 to induce a T-cell-inflamed environment in tumor models that are proven to be non-T-cell-inflamed and thereby generate a compelling scientific rationale for combination studies with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Dr. Pittet has established excellent facilities to investigate tumor-specific immune responses, and we look really forward to collaborating with his lab at the most highly ranked university in the world (World Reputation Rankings).”