Verseau Therapeutics was founded in 2017 by Bob Langer, Dan Anderson, Tatiana Novobrantseva and Igor Feldman to discover and develop a broad pipeline of novel macrophage targets that stimulate their repolarization.
Today’s T-cell based immunotherapies are able to provide benefit to ~10% of cancer patients.1 They are limited by the number of relevant tumor types and the number of patients achieving strong and durable responses in each approved indication. Turning up anti-tumor immune responses in the tumor microenvironment through macrophage repolarization could allow for effective treatment across more tumor indications, as well as a more potent effect in patients within a given indication. This is possible since tumor associated macrophages are present in the tumor microenvironment of >75% of patients with solid tumors, unlike T-cells which are found in ~25% of cancer patients. In addition, Verseau has demonstrated in head-to-head ex vivo studies with fresh human tumors that our lead macrophage repolarizing antibodies can be much more effective than PD-1 checkpoint blockade at stimulating the tumor microenvironment into a pro-inflammatory state. As a result, Verseau believes its innovative programs can expand the potential clinical benefits of immunotherapy to a large, underserved patient population.
The convergence of our patient-based discovery engine along with traditional biology validation tools led Verseau to the discovery of over 20 new macrophage targets. Two of those targets were prioritized and are now our lead programs, each offering unique biological advantages, targeted to distinct tumor types that are enriched with patients who are more likely to respond favorably to treatment.
Verseau’s macrophage repolarization target discovery engine leverages human and disease biology, as well as computational approaches in a patient-focused discovery process. We are developing a robust pipeline of first-in-class monoclonal antibodies that bind to novel macrophage repolarization targets. Our lead candidates, VTX-0811 targeting PSGL-1 and VTX-1218 targeting VSIG4, are rapidly progressing toward clinical trials informed by state-of-the-art analytics and translational medicine.
1 JAMA Network Open. 2019;2(5):e192535. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.2535