Cancer immunotherapy in context
Pyxis Oncology is developing antibody therapeutics to promote the body's immune response to cancer, based on new insights into the tumor microenvironment.
The tumor microenvironment represents a unique biological setting, different in many important ways from other sites of immune activity throughout the body. Through a deep understanding of the role of the tumor microenvironment in immune cell trafficking and activity, Pyxis Oncology has unlocked multiple new avenues to restore the potency of dysfunctional immune cells. Pyxis is developing a diverse pipeline of new antibodies to enhance the immune response against cancer, even in tumor types that historically have not responded well to cancer immunotherapies.
Many tumors types are surrounded by a hostile microenvironment that prevents immune cells from entering the tumor core, making them extraordinarily difficult to treat. These 'cold' tumors require novel therapeutic approaches to interrupt the negative regulation of tumor cells and to promote increased immune cell infiltration and motility. Simultaneously, for 'hot' tumors that do permit immune cell infiltration, the tumor microenvironment often inhibits normal immune cell functioning.
Pyxis has engaged in deep analyses of tumor antigen-specific tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) within hot tumors and of tumor cell signaling pathways within cold tumors. This has led to the discovery of a novel array of positive and negative regulators of immune cell infiltration and functioning, paving the way for the development of novel antibody-based immunotherapies.