Rubius Turns Immunotherapy Red

Share on Social Media

As it gets ready to bring the first engineered red blood cell therapy into the clinic, Rubius Therapeutics Inc. is working up the next generation of RBC therapies to mimic immune cell interactions. The company is exploiting the cells’ unique biology to expand its pipeline beyond enzyme replacement into cancer and autoimmunity.

Rubius’ strategy is to engineer immune responses by putting the right combination of antigens, cytokines or costimulatory molecules on RBC surfaces. The idea is that when embedded in RBC membranes, these proteins will form high avidity interactions with receptors on immune cell surfaces.

“By expressing hundreds of thousands of copies of those agonists in the right conformation on the surface of the cell, we create these cell-cell interactions, mimicking and amplifying the way the immune system works,” said CEO Pablo Cagnoni.

Rubius’ Red Cell Therapeutics platform brings a new set of features to the cellular immunotherapy repertoire. Its cells stay in the circulation, which cuts down toxicity risk in immuno-oncology, and are cleared by a tolerizing pathway in the liver that can be harnessed to treat autoimmunity.

The company’s central thesis is that the longevity of mature RBCs in vivo, and their lack of replication, protein synthesis and protein degradation, allow them to deliver long-lasting, controlled doses of therapeutic proteins (see “Notorious RBC”).

The Flagship Pioneering-backed company, which emerged from stealth in 2015, will put its platform to the test this year in a Phase Ib/IIa trial of RTX-134 for phenylketonuria (PKU). Rubius plans to submit an IND in 1Q19.

RTX-134 is an enzyme replacement therapy comprised of donor-derived RBCs whose cytoplasms are loaded with a bacterial enzyme that breaks down phenylalanine.

“We create these cell-cell interactions, mimicking and amplifying the way the immune system works.” – Pablo Cagnoni, Rubius Therapeutics

Read the entire article here

Latest News

Welcome to a New Chapter, Welcome to RI Bio

Welcome to a New Chapter, Welcome to RI Bio

As we transition into 2019, MedMates is making a transition of its own.  After five years of many significant accomplishments and dedicated partnerships, MedMates will be transitioning into Rhode Island's only BIO affiliate, RI Bio. As part of our transition, you will...

A Letter from MedMates’ Executive Director to Culminate 2018

December 20, 2018 MedMates Colleagues and Friends: It has been a great year of growth and transformation for Rhode Island’s Life Sciences community.  I am very excited about the future of Life Sciences in our state and MedMates’ success as a growing vibrant hub to...

Why We’re Still in a Providence State of Mind

Why We’re Still in a Providence State of Mind

We can count on Bisnow to shine a light on great things happening in Rhode Island. Last year, the group’s “New England Presents” series included a panel called “Investing in Rhode Island.” This year, Bisnow hosted “Providence State of the Market,” which brought...

Biotech Industry News