Teon claims an adenosine pathway, but it’s not alone

Interest in adenosine’s role in cancer is growing, and one of the latest in on the act is Teon Therapeutics, a private US biotech that last week closed a $30m series A financing round. The group first floated the possibility of collaborating with Cancer Research UK in December, and today said a deal had been signed: CRUK is to sponsor a phase I/II trial of Teon’s adenosine A2B receptor antagonist TT-702 in cancers including prostate and triple-negative breast. Teon calls TT-702 a “first-in-class” small molecule, though this claim does not stand up to scrutiny. Spain’s Palobiofarma has a pipeline of adenosine antagonists that includes the A2B-specific molecule PBF-1129, which is in two phase I trials in lung and other solid tumours. And Gilead’s 2020 deal with Arcus includes etrumadenant, an inhibitor active at A2A and A2B receptors and already in phase II for NSCLC. Adenosine receptors are overexpressed on some cancers, and a role for the A2B subtype in tumour cell proliferation has recently been proposed. Teon says it will have to pay an undisclosed amount to CRUK in return for rights to the TT-702 data generated.

Selected adenosine A2B receptor antagonists
Project Company Status Detail
Etrumadenant* Arcus/Gilead Phase II Zimberelimab + domvanalimab combo in NSCLC
PBF-1129 Palobiofarma Phase I Monotherapy in NSCLC 
TT-702 Teon Therapeutics Preclinical CRUK-sponsored ph1/2 study in pancreatic cancer & TNBC to start 2021
A2A & A2B antagonist* Adorx Therapeutics Preclinical
LNC-002 Inspyr Therapeutics Preclinical Likely inactive project
GS 6201 Gilead (ex CV Therapeutics) Discontinued
Source: EvaluatePharma; *also said to be active at the A2A subtype.

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