Proprietary platform enables discovery of novel cis-targeted therapies leveraging a diverse set of immunomodulators to selectively activate different immune cell types —

— To-date, achieved preclinical proof-of-concept for three programs, using two different cytokines and targeting two different immune cell types–

South San Francisco, Calif., December 15, 2021 – Asher Biotherapeutics, a biotechnology company developing precisely-targeted immunotherapies for cancer, autoimmune, and infectious diseases, today provided an overview of its cis-targeting platform and growing pipeline of highly differentiated precision immunotherapies. The update follows presentations by Asher Bio on its cis-targeting technology at PEGS Europe: Protein & Antibody Engineering Summit, held November 2-4, 2021 in Barcelona, and the Antibody Engineering & Therapeutics (AET) Conference, held December 12-16, 2021 in San Diego.

“We were delighted to present additional details on our cis-targeting technology at recent scientific conferences,” said Andy Yeung, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer and Founder of Asher Bio. “Our platform enables us to build a broad pipeline of potentially best-in-class precision immunotherapies, each of which engages both an immunomodulatory receptor and a specific target on the same cell. By focusing our potent immunomodulators selectively on only the desired immune cell type, we believe we can deliver improved clinical outcomes, offering patients more efficacious medicines that carry a reduced risk of off-target toxicities. Importantly, our approach can be applied systematically to target multiple classes of immunomodulators to a diverse set of immune cell types, creating numerous opportunities to generate new immunotherapies for a range of cancers, autoimmune and infectious diseases.”

As outlined in Asher Bio’s presentations at PEGS Europe and AET, the company’s proprietary cis-targeting platform yields immunotherapies that selectively activate specific immune cell subsets, in order to avoid the pleiotropic effects that characterize the systemic delivery of existing cytokines and immunotherapies. Asher Bio is applying its modular toolkit, which includes a library of targeting arms and engineered cytokines that can be readily recombined to generate new molecules, to rapidly build and de-risk a portfolio of drug candidates for treatments in multiple disease areas.

“Since our founding, we progressed our three most advanced programs – all of which leverage our discoveries in IL-2 and other cis-targeted cytokines for the treatment of oncology – through preclinical proof-of-concept, demonstrating the reproducibility of our approach and providing the foundation for us to build a portfolio of potentially best-in-class immunotherapies,” said Ivana Djuretic, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Founder of Asher Bio. “We look forward to building on this momentum as we advance our existing programs toward the clinic and apply our proprietary cis-targeting technology to discover, develop and, ultimately, deliver novel molecules with the potential to restore hope, health and happiness to many more patients.”

The presentations at PEGS Europe and AET provide additional detail on Asher Bio’s cis-targeting technology and support the company’s emerging pipeline of cis-targeted immunotherapies:

  • Asher Bio’s lead program, AB248, is a fusion protein that selectively activates the interleukein-2 (IL-2) receptor pathway on CD8+ T cells. In preclinical studies, AB248 has demonstrated highly compelling anti-tumor activity across multiple mouse tumor models, showing superior efficacy and tolerability compared to wild-type IL-2 and other not-α IL-2 therapies currently in clinical development. Asher Bio expects to file an investigational new drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the third quarter of 2022.
  • Beyond AB248, Asher Bio is advancing two additional programs for the treatment of cancer, both of which have achieved preclinical proof of concept:
    • A cis-targeted cytokine that selectively activates STAT3 signaling in CD8+ T cells, promoting cytotoxicity, memory cell differentiation and survival, all of which are signals potentially complementary to the proliferation signal provided by IL-2 and STAT5 activation.
    • A CAR-T cis-targeted IL-2 that selectively expands CAR-Ts post-adoptive transfer, supporting better engraftment, peak expansion and persistence, all of which have been correlated with improved clinical efficacy and outcomes.

The scientific overview presented at PEGS Europe and AET is now available in the “Presentations and Posters” section of Asher Bio’s website: 

About Asher Bio

Asher Bio is a biotechnology company developing precisely targeted immunotherapies for cancer and other diseases. Our cis-targeting platform aims to enable selective activation of specific immune cell types, addressing the inherent limitations of otherwise pleiotropic immunotherapies that act on multiple cell types. Our approach has the potential to precisely direct different immune mediators against a range of target immune cell-types and create best-in-class immunotherapies in cancer, autoimmune and infectious diseases. Asher Bio was founded by Ivana Djuretic and Andy Yeung with support from Third Rock Ventures and is located in South San Francisco. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @AsherBio and on LinkedIn.


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