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The research will use the Kennedy’s state-of-the-art technology to understand the effect of EVOLVE molecules in the immune response to tumours.


EvolveImmune Therapeutics is an immuno-oncology company developing first-in-category, multifunctional biotherapeutics to overcome cancer-driven immunodeficiency. The collaboration with Prof. Michael Dustin, Kennedy Trust Professor of Molecular Immunology and Director of Research, aims to evaluate the molecular mechanism of EvolveImmune's proprietary co-stimulatory T cell engager platform, known as EVOLVE.

EvolveImmune Therapeutics created EVOLVE molecules to target a range of solid tumours with high selectivity. These biotherapeutic molecules have been designed to target tumour cells and, at the same time, provide sustained immune activation.

The EVOLVE platform is designed to unleash potent, selective, and integrated T cell co-stimulation to bypass low tumour immunogenicity, conditionally activate adaptive immunity, and reduce T cell dysfunction, to address unmet needs for the treatment of solid and blood cancers. This is achieved through finely tuned T cell receptor and CD2 co-stimulation optimised for CD8 T cell function.

The project will utilise supported lipid bilayer (SLB) technology developed by Prof. Dustin, which allows researchers to recreate precise molecular interactions within the immunological synapse – in this case between the tumour cell membrane and T cells. The EvolveImmune-Oxford team will carefully assess the impact of EVOLVE on the dynamics of immunological synapse behaviour, molecular changes within the synapse, and functional responses of T cells.

'Dr. Dustin is at the forefront of driving our understanding of the molecular circuitry responsible for mediating immunological synapse formation and T cell effector function. This strategic collaboration will leverage his group's cutting-edge technologies and know-how to interrogate the differentiated mode of action of EVOLVE compared to traditional CD3 bispecific molecules,' said Jay Fine, Ph.D., president of research and development at EvolveImmune. 'We look forward to working together to unlock key scientific insights for EVOLVE and utilise these learnings to deepen our robust data package on the EVOLVE platform. This will help to further delineate the advantages of CD2 as a preferred costimulatory target and support the advancement of EVOLVE toward the clinic.'

'I am eager to work with EvolveImmune on their innovative biotherapeutic platform. I have long had a strong interest in the role that CD2 plays to drive T cell immunity, so I am particularly pleased to have the chance to apply our technology and capabilities to uncover the attributes which enable the unique activity profile demonstrated by EvolveImmune's molecules,' said Prof. Dustin.