December 7, 2022

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Anti-cancer target CD47: Pfizer acquires Trillium for US$2.3 billion

Anti-cancer target CD47: Pfizer acquires Trillium for US$2.3 billion



Anti-cancer target CD47: Pfizer acquires Trillium for US$2.3 billion.  The star anti-cancer target CD47 reappears at a sky-high price, and Pfizer acquires Trillium for US$2.3 billion

On August 23, 2021, Pfizer announced the acquisition of Trillium Therapeutics for US$2.26 billion. The aim is to obtain Trillium’s two CD47-targeted oncology drugs in early clinical stages to expand its oncology drug pipeline.

The purchase price of US$2.26 billion is US$18.50 per share, which is a 118% premium to Trillium’s weighted average price over the past 60 days.

Trillium’s two CD47 target drugs are TTI-621 and TTI-622, both of which are SIRPα-Fc fusion proteins. These two products are designed to block the SIRPα-CD47 signal axis and are now in phase Ib/II clinical development. Stage, suitable for a variety of hematological malignancies.


Anti-cancer target CD47: Pfizer acquires Trillium for US$2.3 billion. 


According to data released by Trillium in April this year, TTI-621 has shown monotherapy activity in patients with a variety of hematological cancers, including skin T-cell lymphoma (objective response rate 19%, n=62), peripheral T-cell lymphoma (Objective response rate 19%, n=22) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (29%, n=7). Most patients are in the advanced stage of cancer and receive a lot of pretreatment. The test results show that in addition to inhibiting the “don’t eat me” signal and transmitting the phagocytic signal, the activation of natural killer cells also plays a key role in the anti-tumor activity of TTI-621.

Trillium’s other drug candidate, TTI-622, is also a SIRPα-Fc fusion protein, but the difference is that TTI-622 has an IgG4-Fc region, while TTI-622 has an IgG1-Fc region. Since the interaction between the IgG4-Fc region of TTI-622 and the Fc receptor is more limited than that of IgG1, TTI-622 may achieve a larger dose of medication and produce a more sustained blockade of CD47.

Research data published in April this year showed that the objective response rate of TTI-622 monotherapy in relapsed/refractory lymphoma at a dose of 0.8-18 mg/kg was 33%.


About CD47

CD47, a transmembrane protein encoded by the CD47 gene in the human body, belongs to the immunoglobulin superfamily. Since the 1980s, CD47 has been found to be highly expressed in a variety of human hematological tumors and some solid tumors such as bladder cancer and brain tumors.

In 2009, Professor Irving L. Weissman, a well-known cancer stem cell expert at Stanford University School of Medicine, published a paper in Cell, which showed that tumor cells highly express CD47 and bind to the signal regulatory protein α (SIRPα) on the surface of macrophages to release “Don’t Eat Me” Signal to prevent tumor cells from being engulfed by macrophages.


Anti-cancer target CD47: Pfizer acquires Trillium for US$2.3 billion. 


In 2014, Professor Irving L. Weissman’s team developed a humanized anti-CD47 antibody, opened the first clinical trial, and established Forty Seven, focusing on the clinical development of CD47 targets, in leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Good results have been achieved in blood cancers.

On April 7, 2020, Toro Merger Sub, Inc., a subsidiary of Gilead Sciences, formally acquired Forty Seven at a price of US$4.9 billion.

In September 2020, AbbVie announced the development and commercialization of lemzoparlimab (TJC4), an anti-CD47 monoclonal antibody of Tianjing Bio. AbbVie has obtained the exclusive license of lamzoparlimab worldwide except for Greater China, while Tianjing Bio has received AbbVie’s US$180 million down payment, US$20 million Phase I positive research results, and a US$1.74 billion milestone. The total payment amounted to US$1.94 billion, which also created a record for the transfer of product rights and interests of Chinese innovative pharmaceutical companies.

In addition, affected by this news, the stock price of ALX Oncology Holdings, another company researching CD47 target anticancer drugs, rose by more than 15%.


Today, CD47 has become a new generation tumor immunotherapy target after PD-1, PD-L1, and CTLA4.

Incomplete statistics. At present, more than 30 companies around the world are developing anti-cancer drugs targeting CD47, involving three types of monoclonal antibodies, double antibodies, fusion proteins, and small molecules, of which nearly 20 have entered the stage of clinical research.


(source:internet, reference only)

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