In cancer, CellPrint scientists have focused on checkpoint inhibition immunotherapy and in particular the most prominent pair of checkpoint inhibitors, PD-1 and PD-L1. The scientific premise of immune checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy is that certain types of tumor cells, expressing PD-L1 ligands, bind with PD-1 receptors on immune cells and deactivate the body’s natural protection against cancer. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) are drugs that block either PD-1 or PD-L1 and expose tumor cells to the body’s immune defenses. ICI development however has been confounded and impeded by findings contrary to the scientific premise: ICI are often effective against cancers that are not thought to express PD-L1 and ICI are often ineffective against cancers that are thought to express PD-L1.
CellPrint scientists have used their sensitive, precise, quantitative technology to assess PD-1 and PD-L1 expression in a variety of cell types. PD-1 and PD-L1 expression has been detected when other technologies simply fail to do so, and expression levels have been precisely quantified when other technologies can only provide subjective, qualitative measures.
The company believes that the CellPrint™ technology can be leveraged to identify novel ICI and to more precisely match existing ICI to the particular patients that will benefit from these costly drugs. CellPrint is already applying its technology to the discovery of a new drug class directed toward checkpoint inhibition. This advance is demonstrative of the transformative impact that CellPrint™ can have on drug discovery and development in cancer and other therapeutic areas.