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, 17 (7), 509-527

The Promise and Challenges of Immune Agonist Antibody Development in Cancer


The Promise and Challenges of Immune Agonist Antibody Development in Cancer

Patrick A Mayes et al. Nat Rev Drug Discov.


Immune cell functions are regulated by co-inhibitory and co-stimulatory receptors. The first two generations of cancer immunotherapy agents consist primarily of antagonist antibodies that block negative immune checkpoints, such as programmed cell death protein 1 (PD1) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte protein 4 (CTLA4). Looking ahead, there is substantial promise in targeting co-stimulatory receptors with agonist antibodies, and a growing number of these agents are making their way through various stages of development. This Review discusses the key considerations and potential pitfalls of immune agonist antibody design and development, their differentiating features from antagonist antibodies and the landscape of agonist antibodies in clinical development for cancer treatment.

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