Bridge Biotherapeutics Partners with University of Colorado for Cancer Research

27 March 2024 | Wednesday | News

Collaboration aims to explore BBT-877's potential in immuno-oncology, targeting enhanced anti-tumor immunity
Image Source : Public Domain

Image Source : Public Domain

Bridge Biotherapeutics (KQ288330), a South Korean clinical-stage biotech company developing novel drugs for cancer, fibrosis, and inflammation, announced a research collaboration with Dr. Raul Torres's Lab at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. The collaboration will focus on exploring the potential of BBT-877, a novel autotaxin (ATX) inhibitor, as an immuno-oncology treatment for cancer.

Throughout his previous and ongoing research, Dr. Raul Torres, Professor of Immunology and Microbiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, has  shown that lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) plays a role in modulating CD8 T cell immunosurveillance and metabolism, ultimately disrupting the body's anti-tumor immunity.[i] LPA, a lipid that increases in its concentration across various cancer types, interacts with six different G protein-coupled receptors (LPA receptor 1-6, LPAR 1-6) to activate pathways and downstream signaling molecules leading to inflammation and fibrosis. According to recent research by Dr. Torres, the engagement of LPAR5 to LPA leads to the inhibition of cytotoxic function of CD8 T cells, thereby allowing cancer cells to evade immune surveillance. Silencing the inhibitory signaling of the LPA-LPAR5 pathway by reducing LPA levels is expected to enhance CD8 T cell immunity and improve effectiveness in killing cancer.[ii]

The joint research effort is focused on BBT-877, a novel ATX inhibitor that has been found to reduce LPA production by as much as 90% in human studies. The goal is to assess BBT-877's potential as an immuno-oncology treatment. Early findings suggest that it may boost the immune system's ability to attack cancer cells by enhancing antigen-specific target cell killing, reducing LPA-mediated activation of LPAR5, and suppressing T cell dysfunction, leading to stronger anti-tumor immunity.

"We are excited to collaborate with Dr. Torres's Lab to investigate the potential of BBT-877 as a novel immuno-oncology treatment," said James Lee, CEO of Bridge Biotherapeutics. "Dr. Torres's groundbreaking research on the role of the LPA-LPAR axis and T cell antigen receptor signaling in anti-tumor immunity has suggested the potential of autotaxin inhibitors to expand its indication into immuno-oncology," he added.

Dr. Raul Torres, Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, stated, "By collaborating with Bridge Biotherapeutics, we aim to deepen our understanding of the intricate mechanisms underlying anti-tumor immunity with regards to the LPA-LPAR axis and to translate scientific findings into novel therapeutic strategies that can enhance immune responses against cancer."

Under the terms of the collaboration, Bridge Biotherapeutics will provide financial support and access to BBT-877, while Dr. Raul Torres's Lab will contribute its expertise in immunology and cancer biology. Together, the two entities will conduct preclinical studies to evaluate the therapeutic potential of BBT-877 in enhancing anti-tumor immunity.

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