Coherus Announces Toripalimab Data at 2023 AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics

Coherus BioSciences, a leading biopharmaceutical company, recently presented groundbreaking data on their next-generation anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody, toripalimab, at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics. The data showcased the impressive potential of toripalimab in activating T cells and its differentiated mechanism of action, leading to enhanced clinical efficacy.

PD-L1, a protein found on certain cancer cells, hampers T cell activation and suppresses the immune system’s ability to eliminate cancer cells. Toripalimab, with its high affinity binding to a unique site on PD-1, effectively blocks the interaction between PD-1 and PD-L1. Preclinical studies have demonstrated that toripalimab exhibits significantly higher T cell activation and increased expression of key immune system activators compared to pembrolizumab, a widely used anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody.

These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for the observed improvements in overall survival, regardless of PD-L1 expression levels, in clinical trials evaluating toripalimab in combination with chemotherapy across multiple tumor types. This combination therapy has shown promising results and is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).

Theresa LaVallee, Ph.D., Chief Development Officer of Coherus, highlighted the significance of these data, stating, “PD-1 inhibition has been a significant advancement in cancer treatment, but better treatments are needed to increase response rates and drive improved outcomes for patients. These data support toripalimab as a next-generation PD-1 inhibitor that, when combined with chemotherapy, may exhibit greater antitumor activity in certain cancers due to its unique binding properties.”

Coherus is eagerly looking forward to delivering this important new treatment option to patients, starting with NPC, pending FDA approval. The company also plans to explore the efficacy of toripalimab in combination with chemotherapy in various cancer types and in conjunction with novel immune-oncology agents.

Toripalimab’s superiority is further highlighted by its twelve-fold higher binding affinity to PD-1 compared to pembrolizumab, as well as its ability to activate T cells to a significantly greater extent in multiple assay systems. These attributes position toripalimab as a potential next-generation PD-1 inhibitor with enhanced therapeutic potential.

Coherus has a robust immuno-oncology pipeline that complements its existing commercial capabilities in oncology. Through an in-licensing agreement with Junshi Biosciences, Coherus is developing toripalimab in the United States and Canada. In addition, the company’s recent acquisition of Surface Oncology has expanded its immuno-oncology portfolio to include multiple antibody immunotherapy candidates aimed at enhancing the immune response for improved patient outcomes.

Coherus’ dedication to advancing cancer therapies is evident in its extensive clinical studies evaluating toripalimab in over fifteen indications globally. These studies encompass a wide range of tumor types, including lung, nasopharynx, esophagus, stomach, bladder, breast, liver, kidney, and skin cancers.

With a focus on research, development, and commercialization of innovative immunotherapies, Coherus aims to establish a leading position in the immuno-oncology market. The company’s strategy involves leveraging its proven commercial capabilities to generate cash and fund the development of its immuno-oncology franchise.

Coherus has already achieved success in the market with the commercialization of UDENYCA® (pegfilgrastim-cbqv), a biosimilar of Neulasta®, as well as CIMERLI® (ranibizumab-eqrn) and YUSIMRY™ (adalimumab-aqvh), biosimilars of Lucentis® and Humira®, respectively.

The future looks promising for Coherus as it continues to innovate and explore new avenues in immuno-oncology. By harnessing the potential of toripalimab and its expanding pipeline, the company aims to revolutionize cancer treatment and improve outcomes for patients worldwide.

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