Newton, MA, June 30, 2021– Abcuro, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapies for autoimmune diseases and cancer through precise modulation of cytotoxic T and NK cells, and ImaginAb, a market leading global provider in immune-oncology imaging agents, today shared initial results of a study demonstrating the use of ImmunoPET technology to image T cell infiltration of skeletal muscle in patients with inclusion body myositis (IBM). IBM is an autoimmune disease in which cytotoxic CD8+ T cells chronically attack muscle cells, leading to progressive weakness and severe disability.
This news announcement follows the signing of a new non-exclusive license agreement in February 2021 for ImaginAb to supply Abcuro with its market leading CD8 ImmunoPET agent. The proprietary first in class ImmunoPET imaging agent allows non-invasive , whole-body imaging CD8+ T cells using positron emission tomography (PET) . The technology, initially designed to visualize these cells in cancer patients, can now provide a non-invasive assessment of the extent of infiltration of CD8+ T cells in skeletal muscle in IBM patients.
“The ability to comprehensively identify infiltration of CD8+ T cells in skeletal muscle represents a breakthrough in our understanding of IBM pathogenesis and supports development of novel therapeutics,” said Steven A. Greenberg, M.D., co-founder of Abcuro and Chief Scientific Advisor. “Abcuro intends to use this imaging strategy as it advances ABC008, an anti-KLRG1 antibody capable of selectively depleting a subpopulation of highly-cytotoxic CD8+ T cells present in muscle tissue of IBM patients, through a first-in-human clinical trial for IBM.”
Ron Korn, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Imaging Officer at ImaginAB stated “Our proprietary antibody-fragment imaging technology binds to and illuminates the specific immune cell type that is central to the etiology of IBM. The ability to image the entire landscape of skeletal muscle in IBM patients enrolled in their trials enables Abcuro to comprehensively assess the presence of CD8+ T cells prior to and following dosing of ABC008, which seeks to address the underlying biological driver of IBM.
The imaging study was led by Colin Quinn, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Neurology and Director of Neuromuscular Clinical Trials at the University of Pennsylvania.
“The understanding of IBM as a T cell-driven autoimmune disease has enabled use of PET imaging to provide a highly specific, whole-body view of CD8+ T cells, the presence of which is a potentially distinguishing feature in affected muscle tissue,” said Dr. Quinn.
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