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Celldex Presents Varlilumab Mechanism Data at SITC Annual Meeting 2015

-- Preclinical data suggest cancers vary in sensitivity to mechanisms of CD27 immune modulation --

-- Clinical experience with varlilumab is consistent with immune co-stimulation and regulatory T cell depletion mechanisms, a potential unique benefit for varlilumab --

-- Multiple Phase 1/2 varlilumab combination studies currently ongoing --

HAMPTON, N.J., Nov. 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (CLDX) today presented new preclinical data on varlilumab, a fully human monoclonal agonist antibody that binds and activates CD27, a critical co-stimulatory molecule in the immune activation cascade. Results suggest that cancers may respond to CD27 immune modulation by independent mechanisms, such as immune co-stimulation and regulatory T cell (Treg) depletion. Varlilumab has the unique ability to act through both of these mechanisms. The new data were presented in a poster entitled "The mechanism of anti-tumor immunity induced by varlilumab, a CD27 agonist mAb, is model dependent" at the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting.

"Our data show that CD27 modulation through varlilumab results in immune activation and suppression of Treg activity, either of which can be independently responsible for a therapeutic effect, depending on the cancer model," said Tibor Keler, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of Celldex Therapeutics. "Because individual human cancers are also likely to have different sensitivities to these anti-tumor activities, varlilumab's ability to act through both mechanisms provides the broadest potential for therapeutic benefit. Our collection of preclinical and clinical results to date support Celldex's broad clinical development program across tumor types and in combinations with other anti-tumor agents."

To better understand each mechanism separately, scientists engineered varlilumab to possess either strong co-stimulatory activity (varli-mG1) or strong Treg suppression activity (varli-mG2a) and analyzed their efficacy in several preclinical tumor models. The data indicated that potent co-stimulation activity was required for therapeutic activity in a BCL1 lymphoma model, whereas control of Tregs was required for activity in several other models, such as E.G7 thymoma, CT26 colorectal and colon 26. Importantly, varlilumab has a combination of immune co-stimulation and Treg depleting activity and demonstrated potent anti-tumor activity in all the models.

7:02 am Celldex Therapeutics announces new preclinical data on Varlilumab, suggesting that cancers may respond to CD27 immune modulation by independent mechanisms

The immune stimulating and Treg...