Morphogenesis, Inc. is a privately held, Phase 2/3 clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel personalized cancer vaccines and tumor microenvironment modulators to overcome resistance to current immunotherapies. Our mission is to improve the lives of patients by developing innovative therapies that overcome the underlying mechanisms by which tumor cells escape immune recognition. Our technologies work by overcoming two major obstacles that limit the effectiveness of immunotherapies in treating cancer:
- Primary or innate resistance related to tumor intrinsic factors associated with insufficient tumor immunogenicity.
- Secondary or acquired resistance to immunotherapies resulting from extrinsic factors in the tissue in which the tumor lives called the tumor microenvironment, which are separate from the biology of the tumor itself. This tumor microenvironment is highly immunosuppressive and capable of deactivating immune cells and immune responses against the tumor.
Our lead personalized cancer vaccine candidate, IFx-Hu2.0, is designed to prime the activation of the immune system to target and attack tumor cells by making them look like bacteria. Through an intratumoral injection of a gene coding for emm55, an immunogenic bacterial protein that is then expressed on the surface of tumor cells, the immune system is activated, providing a potent, multivalent systemic response against all neoantigens in a patient’s tumor. We are preparing to initiate a single Phase 2/3 registration trial as a first-line treatment for metastatic Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Our follow-on personalized cancer vaccine candidate, IFx-Hu3.0, is being developed as an intravenously delivered proprietary construct of emm55 mRNA targeting CD22 for the treatment of B-cell malignancies.
Our tumor microenvironment modulators are designed to address one of the primary causes of acquired resistance to immunotherapies, such as checkpoint inhibitors or cellular therapies like CAR-T. Leveraging novel bi-functional antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), we are targeting the unique delta receptor on myeloid derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), which comprise 80% of cells in the tumor microenvironment and are responsible for immune suppression against the tumor.