NDD-derived assets: current self-funded programmes
- Tryptophan catabolism
Tryptophan plays an important role in regulating immune tolerance, as demonstrated in the maintenance of the immune privilege of the placenta. The catabolism of tryptophan has been more recently revealed in tumours where it is purported to contribute towards immune evasion, with cancer cells suppressing T cell responses via both depletion of tryptophan and accumulation of its metabolite kynurenine.
Project aim: To identify novel modulators of tryptophan catabolism with a distinct mechanism and superior pharmacological characteristics.
- Immune checkpoint modulation
Immune checkpoints are part of the normal physiological 'braking system' of the immune response. Immune cell populations, such as T cells, carry receptors that transmit suppressive messages to the interior if they meet the appropriate external sugnal. In cancer, these signals can be generated inappropriately by tumour cells, thereby contributing to immune evasion by tumours.
Project aim: To identify mechanistically novel small molecule modulators of immune checkpoint signalling that can be used in combination with existing treatments to improve patient responses; and in situations where patients do not respond to standard care.
Examples of partner-ready programmes
- Immune receptor ligand ("IRL") modulation