In the last few decades, in the field of Drug Discovery, Immunotherapy has gained more and more importance for the treatment of various diseases and in particular for certain types of cancer. Based on inducing, enhancing or suppressing an immune response, this therapeutic manipulation has led to promising clinical results.
Major regulators of Immune activation, Immune checkpoints play a key role in maintaining immune homoeostasis and preventing autoimmunity. However in some cancers, these checkpoints can be used to avoid any activation of the immune response against cancer cells. Immunotherapies based on targeting immune checkpoint pathways in Drug Discovery, have already led to the development of promising molecules (Nivolumab, Pembrolizumab…) tested in clinical trials and approved, which are giving new hope for cancer treatments.
Nevertheless, scientists face some challenges in Immune checkpoint research, such as resistance to treatment, and the complexity of the Immune system and tumour microenvironment.
To rise up to all these challenges, Drug Discovery is expanding beyond essential biochemical assays to include cellular assays. Biochemical assays will allow you to identify drug candidates able to impact the interaction between your ligand-receptor target. Cellular assays will then complement and confirm your biochemical results by providing more physiological outcomes in a cellular context, with the functionality of the whole cell signalling pathway. This allows, for example, identification of an agonist vs antagonistic effect of your candidate
To help researchers along this way, BPS Bioscience have developed a combination of Biochemical and Cell based assays tools for screening and validating new molecules against immune checkpoint pathways.
More specifically, BPS Bioscience have developed Luciferase cell based reporter assays to identify new drugs candidate over several human Immune checkpoints and enzymatic pathways:
- PD-1:PD-L1 – Programmed Cell Death 1
- TIGIT:CD155 – T-Cell Immunoreceptor with Ig and ITIM domains
- GITR:GITRL – Glucocorticoid-induced TNFR Related protein
- OX40:OX40L – TNFRSF4, CD134
- CD40:CD40L – Cluster of Differentiation 40, TNFRSF5, Bp50
- LAG3:MHCII – Lymphocyte-Activation Gene 3
To get more insights on these Immune Checkpoint cell based assays, don’t hesitate to download the poster “Methods for Drug Discovery Through Biochemical and Cell Based Assays for Immunotherapy Checkpoint Activators and Inhibitors” presented by BPS Bioscience at the Immuno-Oncology Summit in Boston this year (2017).
Finally, the use of an engineered Cell based assay will provide researchers a more accurate and comprehensive approach on Immune Checkpoint research. The combination with a Biochemical assay will increase the rate of success for identifying and developing the next generation of drug treatment candidate.
If you want more details and technical information don’t hesitate to contact our specialists by leaving your questions and comments below, or by reading our previous posts on Immune checkpoints (about PD_1 here, and cancer immunotherapy here).
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