Novel cancer immunotherapeutic agent IMT-009 with a dual mode of action exhibits potential for application across a multitude of solid and hematological tumor indications

WALTHAM, MA, USA I November 11, 2022 I Immunitas Therapeutics (“Immunitas”), a clinical stage precision immunotherapy company committed to discovering and developing novel, differentiated therapeutics for patients with cancer, presented preclinical data on lead program IMT-009, a fully human monoclonal antibody against a novel immuno-oncology target CD161, today at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 37th Annual Meeting, held both virtually and in Boston from November 8-12, 2022.

“The data presented at the 2022 SITC Annual Meeting demonstrate the potential of IMT-009 as a dual-acting modality that leverages activation of both CD161+ T and NK cells to treat multiple solid and hematological cancers, and further validate our human data-driven approach to developing novel immunotherapies,” said Seng-Lai “Thomas” Tan, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Immunitas Therapeutics. “Our founders discovered a novel population of functional tumor-infiltrating CD161+ T cells, which we believe can be harnessed therapeutically with IMT-009 as a differentiated approach for a better and safer cancer immunotherapy. We look forward to initiating Phase 1/2a clinical evaluation of IMT-009 later this year.”

Preclinical data confirm that IMT-009 binds with high affinity and selectivity to CD161, a cell surface inhibitory receptor that is broadly expressed on NK and a subset of memory CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Upon binding, IMT-009 disrupts CD161 interaction with its ligand, CLEC2D, restoring activation of effector functions of both CD161+ T and NK cells and thus enhancing cytotoxicity towards target tumor cells. GLP toxicity studies in non-human primates demonstrate that once weekly dosing with IMT-009 generates no significant signs of toxicity, indicating a clean safety profile for first-in-human trials. These results support the CLEC2D/CD161 axis as a novel ligand-receptor pathway for immunotherapeutic intervention across a range of solid tumor indications.

The SITC poster presentation will be available on the Immunitas Therapeutics website on November 11, 2022.

Presentation details are as follows:
Title: Anti-CD161 antibody IMT-009 is a novel immunotherapeutic agent that reinvigorates T and NK cell function and anti-tumor efficacy through blocking interaction of CD161 with its ligand CLEC2D
Abstract Number: 1332
Date/Time: The poster will be presented on November 11, 2022 and made available for in-person attendees from 9:00 am – 8:30 pm ET.

About IMT-009

IMT-009 is a fully human, Fc-attenuated IgG1 monoclonal antibody that binds to CD161 and blocks its interaction with its ligand, CLEC2D. Preclinical data confirm that CD161 blockade with IMT-009 results in enhanced anti-tumor activity. IMT-009 is anticipated to begin enrollment for a Phase 1/2a clinical trial in Q4 2022 for use as a monotherapy and combination treatment for solid tumor and hematological malignancies. The Phase 1 study is designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacodynamic biomarkers, and preliminary efficacy of IMT-009 as well as identify the Recommended Phase 2 Dose (RP2D). The trial will then transition into Phase 2 with multiple expansion cohorts to assess the safety and efficacy of IMT-009 alone or in combination with another antineoplastic agent.

About Immunitas Therapeutics

Immunitas is a clinical stage precision immunotherapy company committed to discovering and developing novel, differentiated treatments for patients with cancer. A focus on human data, combined with fully integrated internal R&D capabilities and parallel discovery efforts, allows Immunitas to start with and stay closer to the most relevant and translatable biology for patients, accelerating the timeline from discovery to the clinic. The Immunitas discovery engine combines deep expertise in single-cell genomics with customized machine learning approaches to elucidate immune cell populations that are key actors in immuno-oncology. The company was founded by Longwood Fund with leading scientists from Dana-Farber, MGH, the Broad, and MIT. Since being founded in 2019, Immunitas has raised a total of $97 million in venture funding from a strong syndicate of investors including Agent Capital, Alexandria Venture Investments, Evotec, Leaps by Bayer, Longwood Fund, M Ventures, Medical Excellence Capital, and Novartis Venture Fund. To learn more, visit

SOURCE: Immunitas Therapeutics