Our proprietary E-ALPHA® antibody discovery platform is composed of a highly diverse human-derived antibody phage library, containing over 100 billion clones with unique antibody sequences, and a robust workflow to develop highly specific antibodies against target antigens. The E-ALPHA® platform is designed to enable us to rapidly discover, iterate upon and improve our antibodies.
The E-ALPHA® platform also provides us with the potential to overcome certain key existing limitations of current antibody-based cancer therapies. Current CAR-T and antibody-based therapies recognize cell surface proteins. However, ideal cancer targets, especially those expressed specifically by solid tumors, are primarily expressed intracellularly and are therefore generally considered “undruggable” using current antibody-based therapies. With our E-ALPHA® platform, we believe we can develop antibodies to challenging extracellular antigens, as well as therapeutic human TCR-mimic (TCRm) antibodies that can target tumor-specific intracellular antigens.
Tumor-specific antigens are broken down into fragments called peptides. These peptides are eventually displayed on the cell membrane by “presenting” molecules, known as major histocompatibility complexes (MHCs). The result is a peptide-MHC complex, which can be targeted by a TCRm antibody. Current CAR-T and antibody therapies targeted against surface cancer antigens have been largely unsuccessful against solid tumors. In contrast, we believe TCRm antibodies based on the E-ALPHA® platform can be incorporated into ARTEMIS® or CAR-T constructs to target intracellular antigens in both hematological and solid tumors.