Cambium Oncology is an early-stage biotechnology company developing novel checkpoint inhibitors for a broad range of tumor types with traditionally poor prognosis. Our molecules are active in several important mouse models of cancer, including pancreatic cancer and acute myeloid leukemia.
We have identified a novel role for the neuropeptide vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in promoting cancer. Cancer cells produce VIP, thereby antagonizing the action of both dendritic cells and tumor infiltrating T lymphocytes. Thus, VIP signaling helps tumors escape immune destruction. To combat this, we have developed an extensive library of VIP checkpoint inhibitor peptides to restore T cell tumor killing activity. One of our lead antagonists, (VIP-ANT308), significantly improves anti-tumor activity in multiple models, including pancreatic cancer, melanoma and leukemia. In selected models, VIP-ANT308 achieves efficacy equal to classical checkpoint blockade and in every model tested so far combines effectively with PD-1 blockade.
Given both the novelty and general applicability of VIP inhibition, Cambium is currently raising a series A fund to move to the clinic expeditiously.