“Despite good initial responses to existing therapies, many AML patients relapse, driving the need for new treatment options,” commented Dr.
IMGN779 is an ADC designed to selectively target and kill AML cells, including leukemic stem cells, while sparing normal cells. IMGN779 utilizes DGN462, one of the Company’s new DNA-acting payload agents.
In preclinical findings reported at EHA, IMGN779 demonstrated potent, targeted activity against primary AML patient cells in vitro. IMGN779 can selectively kill leukemic cells (blasts) while sparing normal hematopoietic (blood) stem cells. IMGN779 was found to be highly active against human AML xenografts in vivo, demonstrating potent and targeted activity. IMGN779 was well tolerated without delayed toxicity in animal models.
IMGN779 is on track to become the Company’s next wholly owned clinical-stage compound. ImmunoGen is preparing to submit the IMGN779 IND in mid-2015.
IMGN779 is a novel, DNA-alkylating ADC. Its payload, linker and antibody were developed by ImmunoGen and are wholly owned by the Company. IMGN779 comprises the highly potent, DNA-alkylating payload DGN462 conjugated via cleavable disulfide linker to the CD33-targeting antibody, Z4681A.
About ImmunoGen’s DNA-acting Payload Agents
Created by ImmunoGen scientists, the IGN family of DNA-acting payload agents, including DGN462, are designed to effectively alkylate DNA, while avoiding the delayed toxicity that can develop with agents that cross-link DNA in addition to alkylating it.1 ImmunoGen developed its IGN family of DNA-acting payload agents to complement its successful family of tubulin-acting agents (e.g., DM1, DM4), as some cancers respond more to DNA-acting agents than to tubulin-acting agents.1,2
The Company began by developing DNA-acting agents with both DNA-crosslinking and -alkylating properties. However, ImmunoGen scientists identified that such agents were associated with significant delayed toxicity. To achieve the dual objective of efficacy and tolerability with this platform, ImmunoGen developed more advanced IGN agents which are DNA-alkylators only. These IGN payload agents retain high potency, but avoid delayed toxicity.
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a hematologic malignancy that starts in the bone marrow where different types of new blood cells are made. In the US in 2014, more than 18,000 adults will be newly diagnosed with AML and more than 10,000 will die from the disease.3
1 Miller et al., AACR-NCI-EORTC 2013, abstract #C160.
2 Whiteman et al., AACR-NCI-EORTC 2013, abstract #C162.
3 American Cancer Society (2014), Leukemia: Acute Myeloid Detailed Guide.
Kadcyla® is a registered trademark of
This press release includes forward-looking statements. For these statements, ImmunoGen claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. It should be noted that there are risks and uncertainties related to the development of novel anticancer products, including IMGN779, including risks related to preclinical and clinical studies, their timings and results. A review of these risks can be found in ImmunoGen’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended