MAIA Biotechnology Announces Potent Anticancer Activity of THIO in Gliomas

MAIA Biotechnology, Inc. (NYSE:MAIA) has announced exciting developments in its mission to develop telomere-targeting immunotherapies for cancer. The company’s lead asset, THIO, has demonstrated highly potent anticancer activity in gliomas, a particularly aggressive type of brain tumor. Gliomas originate from glial cells and are notoriously difficult to treat, making this breakthrough all the more significant.

THIO’s unique dual mechanism of action, which involves direct telomere targeting and immune system activation, has previously shown efficacy in multiple types of telomerase-active tumors. In the case of gliomas, THIO was evaluated in various in vitro and in vivo models, and the results were extremely promising. The therapy exhibited a therapeutic role in the treatment of primary and temozolomide-resistant recurrent gliomas by inducing telomeric DNA damage in glioma cells through telomerase-mediated processes.

Dr. Vlad Vitoc, MAIA’s Chief Executive Officer, expressed enthusiasm about the results, stating, “High grade adult gliomas are among the most difficult-to-treat cancers, with less-than-desirable clinical outcomes. These encouraging results further highlight THIO’s excellent anti-cancer activity across several cancer indications. We look forward to evaluating THIO as a treatment for brain cancer in a clinical setting.”

MAIA’s Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Sergei Gryaznov, highlighted the effectiveness of THIO in various glioma cell lines, including those that had acquired resistance to the current standard of care, temozolomide. THIO induced apoptosis in multiple human glioma cell lines and produced telomeric DNA damage responses in both glioma cell lines and diverse human-derived tumor specimens. In vivo studies also demonstrated that THIO significantly reduced tumor proliferation in glioblastoma xenografts and a PDX model of glioblastoma.

These promising results have been published in Clin Cancer Res (2021) 27 (24): 6800–6814, further solidifying the potential of THIO as a groundbreaking treatment option.

THIO (6-thio-dG or 6-thio-2′-deoxyguanosine) is a first-in-class investigational telomere-targeting agent currently being developed for the treatment of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) patients with telomerase-positive cancer cells. Telomeres and the enzyme telomerase play crucial roles in the survival and resistance of cancer cells to existing therapies. THIO induces telomerase-dependent telomeric DNA modification, DNA damage responses, and selective cancer cell death. Additionally, THIO activates both innate and adaptive immune responses, making it a promising candidate for combination therapies with PD-(L)1 inhibitors.

MAIA Biotechnology, Inc. is a targeted therapy and immuno-oncology company dedicated to developing and commercializing potential first-in-class drugs with novel mechanisms of action. The company’s lead program, THIO, has shown great promise in the treatment of NSCLC patients with telomerase-positive cancer cells.

These recent developments highlight the potential of MAIA Biotechnology and its innovative approach to cancer treatment. With THIO’s remarkable anticancer activity and its ability to target difficult-to-treat cancers like gliomas, MAIA is making significant strides towards improving and extending the lives of cancer patients. For more information about MAIA Biotechnology, please visit

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