Checkmate Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (CMPI)
First Day Turnover30.82%
We are a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing our proprietary technology to harness the power of the immune system to combat cancer. Our product candidate, CMP-001, is a differentiated Toll-like receptor 9, or TLR9, agonist delivered as a biologic virus-like particle, or VLP, utilizing a CpG-A oligonucleotide as a key component. When injected into a tumor, CMP-001 is designed to trigger the body’s innate immune system, thereby altering the tumor microenvironment and directing activated anti-tumor T cells to attack both the injected tumor and also tumors throughout the body. In a clinical trial of CMP-001 in combination with a systemic checkpoint inhibitor, or CPI, in patients whose tumors were unresponsive or no longer responsive to a CPI, we have observed a best overall response rate of 28%, including post-progression responders. We have assembled a strong management team and infrastructure to evaluate CMP-001 across multiple tumor types in combination with other immunotherapy agents.
Our founder, Art Krieg, first reported the discovery of immunostimulatory cytosine-phosphate-guanine, or CpG, DNA in 1995, which, combined with the discovery of TLR9, led to the recognition that synthetic CpG-A oligonucleotides have the ability to stimulate the TLR9 receptor for therapeutic purposes. Our goal is to establish CMP-001 as a foundational immuno-oncology therapy that engages the innate immune system to fight cancer and improve outcomes for patients with a broad range of solid tumors.
Many tumors possess mechanisms to evade the immune system. One such evasion mechanism is through the expression of signaling molecules known as checkpoint proteins, which recruit immuno-suppressive cells the area in and around the tumor. Checkpoint inhibitors, such as antibodies that block programmed death receptor 1, or PD-1, have the ability to reverse this mechanism of evasion, thereby unleashing anti-tumor T cells to destroy tumors. However, except with respect to certain rare tumor types, these therapies are only effective in a minority of patients, as many patients do not have an activated T cell response targeting their tumors. We have observed increased anti-tumor T cell activity in preclinical and clinical studies of the combination of a CPI with an innate immune activator of Type I interferons, or IFN-a, a large subgroup of interferon proteins that help regulate the immune system.
Of the many different IFN-a inducers that have been tested in human immune cells, TLR9 agonist CpG-A oligonucleotides have been found to be the most potent in inducing IFN-a. We believe that the distinct mechanism of action of CMP-001, along with its structure as a VLP, leads to the activation of innate immunity in a way that initiates or restores a systemic adaptive immune response with anti-tumor T cells.
To date, CMP-001 has been studied in more than 200 melanoma patients in clinical trials. Our Phase 1b clinical study has evaluated CMP-001 in subjects with advanced anti-PD-1 refractory melanoma in combination with pembrolizumab and as a monotherapy. In this study, as of June 1, 2020, we observed a best objective response rate, or ORR, of 28%, including post-progression responders, when CMP-001 was combined with pembrolizumab. Adverse events were generally manageable, consisting primarily of flu-like symptoms and injection site reactions.
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