Faron Pharmaceuticals has filed two new patent applications on Clevegen, its novel cancer immunotherapy drug candidate. The patents, which have been filed in Finland, are expected to be expanded to most countries during the next few years under the Patent Co-operation Treaty (PCT) and open up new opportunities for wider application of Clevegen in conditions where removal of suppression of the local or systemic immunity is desired.
Dr Markku Jalkanen, CEO of Faron, said: “We are very excited about these new filings. The new patents, if granted, will provide a significant extension to our strong intellectual property coverage on Clever-1 and presents new opportunities for Clevegen, which also has the potential to be used in combination therapies with other immune checkpoint compounds. We believe that Clevegen also has the potential for use in chronic infections as well as vaccination protocols, both of which are dependent on immune balance between activation and suppression.”
The directors believe that Clevegen is well differentiated from competing products as it specifically targets Clever-1 positive M2 macrophages while leaving intact the pro-inflammatory type 1 macrophages supporting immune activation against foreign antigens (cancer antigens).
Clevegen targets Clever-1 cell surface receptor, which is heavily expressed by tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs). Previous research has shown that when Clevegen binds to TAM Clever-1 the environment of the tumour changes from immune suppression to immune stimulation, but the precise mechanism for action has been partially unclear.
On 30 November 2015, Faron announced findings that showed the active pharmaceutical ingredient of Clevegen (humanized anti-Clever-1 antibody) increases Th1-lymphocytes mediated immunity. This may indicate that Clevegen binding initiates a process that results in conversion of pro-tumoural M2 macrophages to pro-inflammatory M1 macrophages.