Houston, TX

Hummingbird Bioscience partners MD Anderson to advance innovative immunotherapies

Jessica Yang

Kristine Wook/Unsplash

HOUSTON, TX — Hummingbird Bioscience, an innovative clinical-stage biotech company, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center recently declared the launch of a multi-year strategic research cooperation to investigate and evaluate “HMBD-002”, a Hummingbird's VISTA antagonist antibody.

VISTA is an immune checkpoint protein. It is an emerging immunotherapy objective for cancer that suppresses the anti-tumor immune response. According to Hummingbird, studies show that increased levels of VISTA are connected to the emergence of resistance to current cancer immunotherapies. “HMBD-002” is devised to inhibit VISTA by removing the suppression of the immune system, permitting it to escalate an anti-tumor response.

MD Anderson, one of the world’s most respected cancer centers, and Hummingbird have agreed to cooperate on the design and execution of clinical and translational research studies aimed to better comprehend how HMBD-002 regulates the anti-tumor immune response, both as a monotherapy and in amalgamation with other checkpoint inhibitors. Through comprehensive immuno-profiling, the teams will seek to recognize biomarkers that might be utilized to predict clinical outcomes and adverse events.

Jerome Boyd-Kirkup, Ph.D., the co-founder and CSO of Hummingbird Bioscience claimed that they are excited to be collaborating with MD Anderson to advance the clinical research of their novel immunotherapies. He also added, "These studies will strengthen our understanding of VISTA and other emerging immuno-oncology targets and help us ensure that novel treatment strategies for challenging cancers get to patients as quickly as possible."

Professor of Genitourinary Medical Oncology and Immunology at MD Anderson, Padmanee Sharma, M.D., Ph.D., noted that targeting VISTA is an exciting area of immunotherapy research with the potential to have an impact on a variety of cancer types. She also stated that this collaboration aligns their expertise in studying the anti-tumor immune response with Hummingbird's novel therapeutic pipeline and they look forward to working with Hummingbird to advance immunotherapies that they hope will improve care for their patients.

Regental chair of Immunology, Sharma and Allison, Ph.D., are co-leaders of MD Anderson's immunotherapy platform and they will supervise the collaboration. In addition, associate professor of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics and Genomic Medicine Jordi Rodon, M.D., Ph.D., will be in charge of the clinical study of “HMBD-002” at MD Anderson.

Hummingbird also disclosed that Sharma and Allison obtained compensation as consultants to Hummingbird, and Sharma holds equity in the company. These financial relationships have been disclosed to MD Anderson in accord with its COI Policy.

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