Cancer cells can avoid triggering an immune response by ‘switching off’ T-cells through inhibitory ligand-receptor interactions at immune checkpoints. Immuno-oncology therapies – using antibodies or recombinant forms of receptors or ligands – can disrupt these molecular checkpoints stimulating an anti-tumour response and potentially conferring long-term cancer immunity. As well as ultimately benefiting patients, the identification of novel immune checkpoint interactions presents a significant commercial advantage by opening up new targets for therapeutic development as well as furthering our understanding of their mechanisms of action.
Despite the recent surge in interest in this area, the molecular mechanisms for several key immune checkpoint interactions have yet to be elucidated. This is due in large part to the limitations of the standard techniques available.
Retrogenix has screened several key immune checkpoint molecules for clients, identifying novel receptors that are now the targets for the development of new immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies. Our results have also been used in patent applications to protect novel discoveries in this area.
See our case studies below for further details of how our cell microarray technology identifies immune checkpoint targets.