A lot of smart people think so.
The company, INmuneBio (INMB on NASDAQ), has three promising therapeutic platforms that are now ready for clinical trial. Two of these target Cancer, the other Alzheimer’s.
All three are designed to reprogram the body’s immune system to allow it to fight these dread
diseases. And while other companies are developing therapies to harness the adaptive immune system, INmuneBio’s (INMB) approach is very different.
The Other Immune System
To put it simply, INmuneBio’s (INMB) is looking where nobody else is. It’s focused on the other immune system – the innate immune system.
For this to make sense, it helps to remember that the human body has essentially two immune systems. The adaptive one responds to foreign substances that enter the body; the innate system deals with bad things that are already there.
And that’s an important difference where cancer is concerned. Because many cancers develop from pre-cancerous cells that are created by the body. Since they’re not a foreign substance, the adaptive system gives them a pass.
Fortunately, the innate system doesn’t. Its cells seek out and destroy these abnormal cells. Which is how they got the name, Natural Killer cells.
These Natural Killer or NK cells play a critical role in whether a cancer patient becomes a survivor or suffers a relapse. For while modern cancer therapy can effectively eliminate most of a patient’s cancer, some is almost always left behind.
The Natural Killer or NK cells are supposed to take care of these leftovers but sometimes they don’t. Remaining cancer cells have the ability to make themselves virtually invisible and the NK cells don’t “see” them. And the patient who assumes the treatments have cured his or her cancer – suffers a relapse.
INmuneBio’s (INMB) solution to the problem is a new product called INKmune ™.
INKmune™ primes the NK cells so they can identify cancer cells and kill them. Which makes INKmune unlike any other cancer therapy in the world.
INKmune™ is currently in Phase 1 of clinical trials. And results so far are said to be “highly promising.”
As much of a breakthrough as INKmune™ promises to be, it’s not the only cancer weapon in INmuneBio’s (INMB) arsenal. There’s also …
INBO3 is a protein biologic that works by inhibiting the activities of another set of cells most people never heard of, the Myeloid-derived suppressor Cells or MDSC. These cells do their damage by creating a shield around the patient’s tumor so the body’s immune system can’t get at it.
INmuneBio’s (INMB) INBO3 strips away this shield so NK cells can attack the tumor. That gives other treatments a much better chance of being effective.
And unlike earlier therapies, INBO3 doesn’t totally suppress the immune system which could make the cancer worse.
In animal studies, those treated with INBO3 had smaller and fewer tumors, resulting in increased survival. The therapy is now in Phase 1 pre-clinical trial with patients with advanced solid tumors.
But INmuneBio’s (INMB) doesn’t stop at cancer. It’s also going after Alzheimer’s.
A different approach to Alzheimer’s
50 million people around the world are living with Alzheimer’s, a number that continues to grow with the aging global population. At present, no cure exists.
Attempts at developing one have so far centered around treating Alzheimer’s as a neurology or brain disease. So far these attempts have been unsuccessful.
Not surprisingly, INmuneBio’s (INMB) is taking a decidedly different route. The company’s scientists seek to attack it as an immunologic disease.
The neurological approach holds that the disease begins with a dysfunction of the neuron or nerve cell and that inflammation is the result of the diseased neuron. INmuneBio’s (INMB) believes that the damage to neurons is the result of the inflammation – not its cause.
This inflammation serves to “short circuit” much of the brain’s activity leading to cognitive decline, dementia, and other behavioral symptoms.
Consequently, INmuneBio’s (INMB) new Alzheimer’s therapy, Xpro1595, targets the inflammatory changes in the brain. INmuneBio’s (INMB) researchers say that once the inflammation is brought under control, cells begin to normalize themselves and the disease process is not only halted but shows signs of reversing.
What’s more, XPro1595 is expected to ameliorate the often-devastating symptoms of Alzheimer’s such as depression and anxiety.
Many previously promising Alzheimer’s drugs have failed in clinical trials. That’s partly because of a lack of effective biomarkers to measure drug efficacy in patients. However, there are many biomarkers for inflammation and that’s what XPro1595 targets so trials are expected to produce measurable results.
In recognition of INmuneBio’s (INMB) revolutionary approach, the Alzheimer’s Association awarded the company a million-dollar
“Part the Cloud to RESCUE” grant. The company plans to use the grant to translate its promising pre-clinical findings into help for those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Billion Dollar Buyouts
There’ve been a lot of those in the immune-oncology space lately. In 2017, Gilead bought Kite Pharma in an $11.9 billion deal. Celgene acquired Juno for $9 billion last year. This year, Bristol-Myers Squibb bought Celgene in a $74 billion deal. And Eli Lilly paid close to $8 billion for Loxo Oncology.
All of the companies bought were developing therapies and were acquired pre-FDA approval.
And everyone was working along the adaptive immune-oncology lines.
Should INmune Bio succeed in just one of its therapies, its stock would go through the roof. It would also become a prime target for a buyout. Xencor, a pioneer in antibody drugs and INmuneBio’s largest shareholder, would likely opt for the rest of the company. Unless, of course, a deep-pocketed, big pharma company gets there first.
And if all three of the company’s new products prove safe and effective, the treatment of cancer would be forever changed.
We don’t know what will happen with INmuneBio…
But we for sure want to be here to find out!