Research

Pionyr Immunotherapeutics discovers and develops first-in-class biologic drugs that fine-tune natural immune responses to increase immune defenses for diseases such as cancer, or to dampen immune responses in autoimmune diseases. The company draws upon deep expertise in immune systems biology and utilizes proprietary technologies that generate antibodies that tune those systems. Our collective expertise allows us to isolate new drugs that are highly context-sensitive, recognizing therapeutic targets only within specific microenvironments such as the tumor microenvironment. Our technologies, including CellectSeq, allow for the selection of antibodies that target subpopulations of immune-suppressive or immune-enhancing cells in tumors with the aim of eliciting effective therapeutic immunity with minimal side effects.

Pionyr's Myeloid Tuning technology is based on the discovery that altering the tumor microenvironment to favor immune-activating cells over immune-suppressing cells enhances the body’s ability to combat cancer, particularly in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.

Pionyr has recruited an exceptional team with extensive experience in immunology, immuno-oncology, target discovery, and immunotherapy development. Currently Pionyr is focused on immuno-oncology antibody therapeutics that address unmet clinical needs, with a priority on developing agents that significantly increase the durability and depth of responses. Additionally, Pionyr is building a pipeline of transmembrane and intracellular targets using our cutting-edge technologies and translational assays.

Stimulatory myeloid cells are largely excluded from tumor marginating regions
Shown is a representative still image of a live mouse breast tumor, taken via intravital microscopy. This lesion is from a genetically engineered breast cancer model (PyMTchOVA) combined with fluorescent reporters of cells of the myeloid immune system. Red cells represent dendritic cells, cells with known anti-tumor function. Green and yellow cells represent monocytes and Tumor Associated Macrophages (TAMs), cells known to support the growth of the tumor. The distal and proximal (marginating) regions of the tumor are demarcated by the dashed line. These data highlight the segregation of cells with anti-tumoral function, dendritic cells, away from the core of the tumor. While pro-tumoral populations directly marginate the tumor itself. The scale bar represents 50 µm (inset). Data pooled from four independent imaging runs, presented as mean ± SEM. Adapted from Broz et al. Cancer Cell 26, 638-652.


High ratios of stimulatory / inhibitory myeloid cell transcription profiles correlate with improved patient survival
Shown is a Kaplan–Meier plot across all 12 cancer types in the human TCGA data sets, adjusting for cancer type based on high CD103+/CD103- myeloid cell gene ratio (black curve) and low CD103+/CD103- ratio expressers (gray curve) (median split/cancer). Adapted from Broz et al. Cancer Cell 26, 638-652.