Finding the 4%
At Algok Bio, we are laser-focused on building a healthier future by overcoming bottlenecks in today's drug development process. While only 4% of therapeutic candidates successfully complete the journey from discovery to market approval,1 we've identified a pivotal point in the R&D process where we believe that our successful drug development experience can move the needle toward success.
By identifying preclinical development-ready candidates that meet our criteria for success and bringing them through preclinical and clinical development, we can offer pharma partners lower-risk, high-value assets that are ready for licensing at either the late clinical development or post-approval stage.
Our featured asset below is just one example of the types of therapeutic candidates we are advancing. We look forward to expanding this pipeline by partnering with discovery teams looking for a development partner. We also encourage pharmaceutical licensing teams looking for promising assets to keep track of how our pipeline is progressing.
Our Featured Assets
Anti-TM4SF4 monoclonal antibody
AGK-102 is a candidate therapeutic antibody that we are developing as a precision medicine targeted at cells that express the novel cancer stem cell biomarker transmembrane 4 L six family member 4 (TM4SF4).
Cancer stem cells possess properties that make them hard to treat, including self‐renewal, metastasis, apoptosis, heterogeneity, immune resistance, and radio/chemoresistance. By pioneering development of a first-in-class cancer stem cell inhibitor, Algok Bio is opening the door to a novel method for treating cancers.
|Mechanism of action
Mechanism of Action
AGK-102 was developed by researchers at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute as a monoclonal antibody that specifically binds to the novel cancer stem cell biomarker TM4SF4 .
TM4SF4 is highly expressed in radiation-resistant lung adenocarcinoma cells and activates the IGF1R signaling pathway, which induces tumor progression.2 Importantly, TM4SF4 overexpression promotes epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-associated cancer stem cell (CSC)-like properties through induction of osteopontin (OPN) expression, which is known to be strongly correlated with poor prognosis in various cancer types. OPN reinforces the CSC-like properties through a positive feedback autocrine loop with the JAK2/STAT3 or FAK/STAT3 pathways, and also plays an immune-suppressive role in the tumor microenvironment. 3
AGK-102 binds to TM4SF4 resulting in the following:
- Down-regulation of IGF1 and OPN expression
- Interruption of the positive feedback autocrine loop between OPN and JAK/STAT3 pathway
- Activation of cytotoxic T-cells
- And, ultimately, suppression of CSC-like properties and tumor progression
Publications and Posters
1. Hingorani AD, Kuan V, Finan C, et al. Improving the odds of drug development success through human genomics: modelling study. Sci Rep. 2019;9(1):18911. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-54849-w
2. Choi SI, Kim SY, Lee J, Cho EW, Kim IG. TM4SF4 overexpression in radiation-resistant lung carcinoma cells activates IGF1R via elevation of IGF1. Oncotarget. 2014;5(20):9823-9837. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.2450
3. Choi SI, Kim SY, Lee JH, Kim JY, Cho EW, Kim IG. Osteopontin production by TM4SF4 signaling drives a positive feedback autocrine loop with the STAT3 pathway to maintain cancer stem cell-like properties in lung cancer cells. Oncotarget. 2017;8(60):101284-101297. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.21021