25 July 2016

Oxis Biotech Signs Exclusive License Agreement With University Of Minnesota For Novel NK Cell TriKE Targeted Immunotherapy Platform Technology

LOS ANGELES, CA / ACCESSWIRE / July 25, 2016 / Oxis International Inc. (OTCQB: OXIS and Euronext Paris OXI.PA) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Oxis Biotech Inc., has entered into an agreement with the University of Minnesota to develop and commercialize cancer therapies using Trispecific Killer Engager (TriKE) technology developed by researchers at the university to target NK cells to cancer.

Anthony J. Cataldo, Chief Executive Officer of Oxis, said the new agreement provides the company with a significant asset. He said TriKE technology is important because it’s highly effective at killing cancer cells with minimal side effects in pre-clinical models.

TriKE technology has several benefits compared to CAR-T therapy, which is known to be expensive and has been shown to carry significant side effects. Both Kite Pharma (Nasdaq:KITE) and Juno Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:JUNO) have gained significant attention for their CAR-T efforts.

“The bispecific antibody platform is well known for its ability to kill cancer cells via antibody dependent cell-mediated toxicity (ADCC). However, current successes in immunotherapy indicate that enhanced killing will not be enough,” said Mr. Cataldo. “We believe the TriKE platform from University of Minnesota has found a way to expand the immune cell population within the patient, but not at the expense of creating a toxic environment.”

Jeffrey Miller, M.D., a professor of medicine and deputy director of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota said, “The TriKE platform we have licensed to Oxis is designed to address the issue of making NK cells antigen specific by modifying a bispecific antibody platform and adding a third signal by inserting a modified IL-15 cross linker. IL-15 is known as a chief activator of NK cells that can enhance an anti-cancer immune response. This new trispecific platform is unique because it simultaneously delivers a priming, expansion, killing, and activating signal directly to the immune cell as it is in contact with the cancer cell. We are now working with Oxis to go forward with FDA approved clinical trials to demonstrate TriKE safety and efficacy. Unlike standard anti-cancer antibodies, we believe that TriKE can mediate specificity and deliver an immune expansion signal locally (instead of systemically) which has the potential to diminish toxicity.”

Daniel A. Vallera, Ph.D., a researcher and professor at the University of Minnesota said, “We are very excited to advance the TriKE technology in collaboration with Oxis.”

The medical journal Science Translational Medicine recently highlighted TriKE research by the University of Minnesota’s Vallera and Miller. Science Translational Medicine designated the research as an “Editors’ Choice,” and said “TriKEs were superior in restoring potent antigen-specific NK cell responses against AML targets and mediated robust and specific NK cell proliferation” (compared to bispecific killer engagers without the modified IL-15 linker).

ABOUT OXIS INTERNATIONAL, INC. – Oxis International, Inc., through a wholly owned subsidiary, Oxis Biotech, Inc., develops innovative drugs focused on the treatment of cancer and other unmet medical needs. Oxis’ lead drug candidate, OXS-1550 (DT2219ARL) is a novel bispecific scFv recombinant fusion protein-drug conjugate composed of the variable regions of the heavy and light chains of anti-CD19 and anti-CD22 antibodies and a modified form of diphtheria toxin as its cytotoxic drug payload. OXS-1550 simultaneously targets cancer cells expressing the CD19 receptor or CD22 receptor or both receptors. When OXS-1550 binds to cancer cells, the cancer cells internalize the drug and are killed due to the action of drug’s cytotoxic payload. OXS-1550 has demonstrated success in early human clinical trials in patients with relapsed/refractory B-cell lymphoma or leukemia. OXS-4235 is a small molecule therapeutic candidate targeting the treatment of multiple myeloma and associated osteolytic lesions. In in vitro and in vivo models of multiple myeloma and osteoporosis, OXS-4235 demonstrated the ability to kill multiple myeloma cells, and decrease osteolytic lesions in bone. OXIS’ lead drug candidate, OXS-2175, is a small molecule therapeutic candidate targeting the treatment of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). In in vitro and in vivo models of TNBC, OXS-2175 demonstrated the ability to inhibit metastasis.