Biotechnology rising star aims to transform immunotherapy
As founder and CEO of Elixiron Immunotherapeutics Inc., Chen and his dedicated team are developing revolutionary antibody-based immunotherapies to treat the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and cancer.
Three hundred million people (a third of whom are in China) currently live with chronic HBV. The liver infection of HBV leads to complications, including end-stage cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma and with no cure — 1 million people die each year from HBV and related diseases. Current antiviral therapies are unable to eliminate the virus and new therapeutic options are urgently needed.
The company takes a similar immunological approach to conquering cancer. Despite the unprecedented durable response rates observed with immune checkpoint blockades, efficacy is limited in the majority of treated patients by a key barrier — the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment.
By utilizing a translational medicine approach, Elixiron’s scientists have identified key immunosuppressive cytokines from the microenvironment of immunologically cold tumors, which drive immune resistance and cancer metastasis.
“We are committed to the development of revolutionary immunotherapies, which target the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and harness the full power of the immune system to fight cancer,” said Chen.
“By 2021, we aim to become a biotechnology rising star with two clinical stage immunotherapeutics in development to help win the battle against both HBV and cancer.”