Immunotherapy and how it works

Cancer immunotherapy works by helping the body’s own immune system to destroy cancer cells. Y-mAbs is developing several strategies to guide the immune system for precise tumor killing.

1. Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs)

Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are engineered proteins designed to target tumor antigens and bind tumor cells. Y-mAbs is studying mAbs, such as naxitamab and omburtamab, that can treat cancer cells.

Naxitamab is a mAb that can bind the tumor target GD2, which is abundantly found on neuroblastoma and other related tumors, as well as natively expressed on normal cells of neuroectodermal origin. Naxitamab then recruits host immune system components to destroy tumor cells using mechanisms such as antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC).

Omburtamab is a radiolabeled mAb that targets B7-H3, which is overexpressed on a wide range of human solid cancers. When in proximity to the tumor, radiolabeled omburtamab induces DNA damage and tumor cell death.

2. BiClone format T-cell–engaging bispecific antibodies (BsAbs)

Y-mAbs is studying a new generation of T-cell-engaging bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) that may destroy tumor cells by recruitment of host T cells. The BiClone format BsAb contains two binding arms for the GD2 tumor target and two binding arms for T cells. The BiClone format was designed to have the minimal binding affinity necessary to recruit T cells.

3. Cancer vaccines

Y-mAbs is studying a vaccine strategy with the goal of preventing cancer from reoccurring once disease is in complete remission, or in a minimal residual disease state. The neuroblastoma vaccine (NBV) is being researched in combination with the polysaccharide adjuvant B-glucan and is designed to induce a patient’s own immune system to create antibodies against tumor antigen GD2 to prevent tumor reoccurrence.

Immunotherapy cancer vaccine