Checkmate Pharmaceuticals has developed a platform to utilize host T cells to elicit an anti-tumor response. To achieve this, Checkmate uses noninfectious virus-like particles (VLP) with FcR receptors to target plasmacytoid dendritic cells. Once the dendritic cells engulf the VLPs, they deliver CPG-A DNA. The CPG-A then stimulates TLR9 to produce high levels of type-I interferons and thus a robust anti-tumor T-cell response. Checkmate’s proprietary VLPs circumvent common pitfalls of biologic cancer treatments, including suppression by type I IFN commonly seen when using oncolytic virus delivery systems, and delivery with PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors to address tumors which suppress T cells expressing PD-1 checkpoints.
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