Differentiation between normal and malignant tumor cells represents the gold standard for the development of highly specific cancer therapies. Aberrant glycosylation has been described in numerous cancers, identifying tumor associated carbohydrate antigens (TACAs) as an entire class of cancer-specific cell surface molecules suitable for tumor targeting.
TACAs are exploited by tumor cells to hijack glycan-dependent biological processes to their advantage, thus ensuring tumor growth and dissemination. Expression of TACAs frequently correlates with invasiveness, metastasis, tumor grade, and patient outcomes. Further, TACAs play important functional roles in immune suppression, chemo=resistance, tumor migration, and metastasis; therefore, therapeutic antibodies targeting TACAs have the potential to not only kill cancer cells but also inhibit critical biological functions in cancer progression.
A number of TACAs have been well described in the scientific literature, but TACAs historically have been difficult targets against which to develop therapeutic antibodies. Siamab's unique platform allows for the rapid discovery of large panels of high specificity and affinity anti-TACA antibodies. We have developed a patented platform of tools to identify and precisely assay anti-TACA antibodies -- enabling rapid discovery and screening of candidate antibodies as well as characterization of binding epitopes.
Siamab's platform is up and running today, and has enabled the discovery and characterization of a panel of anti-TACA antibodies for Siamab's first development program -- ST1.