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Immuno-oncology approaches are focused on re-engaging or re-educating a patient's immune system to recognize cancer cells and stop cancer's ability to grow and escape detection. Cancer can only survive in the body by inhibiting the immune system's normal response to aberrant cells, namely, to attack and destroy. NOXXON's approach is unique because it disrupts the tumor's ability to exploit the molecular sign-posts guiding moving cells in the body. Simply stated: NOXXON's compounds remove “do not enter” or “detour” signs that the tumor has generated telling the immune system to travel on and not stop and attack the tumor. Removing these sign-posts means that NOXXON's drug candidates could facilitate infiltration of anti-cancer immune cells into the tumor micro environment (TME) in which cancer cells survive and grow.

The tumor microenvironment is the cellular environment in which cancer cells exist. The TME includes blood vessels, immune cells, fibroblasts, signaling molecules such as chemokines and the extracellular matrix. Increasing evidence indicates that the TME has critical roles in all aspects of cancer biology, such as cancer growth, blood vessel growth (angiogenesis), tumor spread (metastasis) and progression. Because the TME appears to play a significant role in how effective anti-cancer therapies are at fighting the disease, it is an important aspect for all cancer treatments.

It is now recognized that chemokines, such as CXCL12, create a permissive microenvironment for tumor growth and metastasis and potentially represent an important signaling mechanism for cancer cells to escape immune system detection and anti-cancer treatments. Our approach is unique in its ability to bind to two key sites in chemokine proteins to disrupt their activity and target them for destruction. As a result, we believe our programs are designed to be best-in-class therapeutics targeting the TME.