Medicines that enable the immune system to target and kill cancer cells (immunotherapy) are therapeutics that have proven to be a highly effective means of treating a select group of cancers.
However, a substantial proportion of malignant disease is not amenable to such treatment. DDR inhibitors have the potential to broaden and/or improve the effectiveness of immunotherapy allowing more patients to benefit from these emerging anti-cancer therapies.
Specifically, DNA damaging agents as well as inhibitors of the DDR can cause the generation of small fragments of DNA to become separated from the nucleus and be visible as cytosolic DNA. This abnormal DNA is recognized as foreign by the cell and ignites a signaling cascade, alerting the immune system to remove it from the host.
The impact of DDR inhibitors on generating an anti-tumor immune response represents a significant opportunity given the potential to use them in combination with immuno-oncology, or IO, based therapies. We are actively looking to study the opportunity associated with using our DDR inhibitors in combination with IO therapies.