IOX Therapeutics Limited

Founded in February 2015 by Professor Cerundolo, iOx Therapeutics is a spin-out from the University of Oxford started to commercialize discoveries made as part of a long-running collaboration between Oxford and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. iOx intends to develop and commercialize multiple synthetic lipid compounds discovered by a research team led by Professor Cerundolo.

iOx plans to develop a series of iNKT agonists that have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors in several preclinical models of cancer. iOx has a clinical trial sponsorship agreement with Oxford University to conduct and fund (or arrange funding for) the first in human Phase I/II clinical trial for iOx’s lead compound, both alone and in combination with anti-PD1 antibodies. iOx’s second program, IMM65 (a nanoparticle formulation of IMM60 plus an NY-ESO-1 vaccine), is being developed with funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 grant program (the PRECIOUS GRANT). Both compounds are potent approaches to priming and boosting an immune response in solid tumors with multiple Phase 1 and 2 trials funded by third party agreements. 

Preliminary research indicates that these compounds activate invariant natural killer T-cells (iNKT cells), which, a large body of evidence suggests, play an important role in anti-tumor immune responses. iNKT cells are a distinct class of T lymphocyte displaying a limited diversity of T-cell receptors. They recognize lipid antigens on the surface of tumzr cells and produce large amounts of cytokines within hours of stimulation without the need for clonal expansion. Furthermore, iNKT cells activate multiple immune system components, including dendritic cells, T-cells and B-cells and stimulate an antigen-specific expansion of these cells.