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 natural proteins that can specifically bind tumor targets and recruit host immune system components to destroy the tumor cells.

Naxitamab is our breakthrough therapy mAb under investigation for the treatment of relapsed/refractory neuroblastoma patients. Naxitamab is a mAb that is being studied with the belief that it binds the tumor target GD2, which is abundantly found on neuroblastoma and other related tumors. Research has shown that naxitamab is designed to destroy GD2-expressing cancer cells by antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC). Naxitamab has a higher binding affinity to the GD2 tumor target than other antibodies in clinical development. Naxitamab has been humanized to help it be recognized by the host immune system as self to reduce the chance of rejection and to maximize efficacy. Naxitamab is intended to be administered by intravenous injection in outpatient clinics.

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