Oncosec, Heat Biologics, And Rexahn Range Beyond Checkpoint Blockade
So many examples of non-checkpoint immuno-oncology have entered development these days that it is tempting to wait until their ranks have thinned by attrition before giving any of them much thought. As cell-based therapies mature along a separate track, checkpoint blockade has seemed almost consumed by the concept of immunotherapy combinations. Hundreds of combo candidates have gone into clinical trials as potential complements — or in some cases, alternatives — to anti-CTLA-4 drugs such as Yervoy (ipilimumab) and anti-PD-1 drugs such as Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and Opdivo (nivolumab). Not entirely randomly, but because of my interest in the individual companies, I focus here on three developers that exemplify the range of new approaches and alternatives in the IO combo space: Oncosec Medical, represented by cofounder and director, Punit Dhillon; Heat Biologics, with CEO Jeffrey Wolf; and Rexahn, with chief business officer, Lisa Nolan.