Ascendis Pharma A/S Announces Presentation of Preclinical Data for TransCon IL-2 β/γ at AACR Virtual Annual Meeting 2020

- In vitro data demonstrated selective binding and activation of IL-2 β receptor, associated with reduced IL-2 α receptor binding -

- Selective expansion and activation of cells in vivo consistent with receptor bias -

- Long half-life and pharmacodynamic effect expected to support dosing every 3 weeks in patients -

- No dose-limiting toxicities and maximum tolerated dose was not reached -

COPENHAGEN, Denmark I June 22, 2020 I Ascendis Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: ASND), a biopharmaceutical company that utilizes its innovative TransCon technologies to address unmet medical needs, today announced the presentation of preclinical data for TransCon IL-2 β/γ, an oncology product candidate designed to provide sustained systemic release of a receptor-biased IL-2 (IL-2 β/γ), at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual Annual Meeting II from June 22 to June 24, 2020. 

“Our preclinical results have demonstrated that TransCon IL-2 β/γ selectively binds and activates the IL-2 β/γ receptor and provides sustained and long-lasting exposure. By applying our TransCon technology to this clinically validated cytokine, we have overcome the two most significant limitations of IL-2 therapy, improving both the receptor-binding properties and the pharmacokinetic profile,” said Juha Punnonen, M.D., Ph.D., Ascendis Pharma’s Senior Vice President and Head of Oncology. “Based on the promising preclinical results we’ve seen with our TransCon IL-2 β/γ and TransCon TLR7/8 Agonist product candidates, we believe our TransCon technologies - which enable systemic and long-acting intratumoral administration - have the potential to improve treatment outcomes in cancer patients. We look forward to our first Investigational New Drug application, or similar, in oncology later this year for TransCon TLR7/8 Agonist, followed by a planned filing for TransCon IL-2 β/γ in 2021.”

TransCon IL-2 β/γ is a novel long-acting prodrug of IL-2 β/γ designed to address limitations of alternative IL-2 treatments, including aldesleukin, which has been available since the 1990’s as a treatment for advanced kidney cancer and advanced melanoma. TransCon IL-2 β/γ is designed with a parent drug that selectively binds and activates the IL-2Rβ/γ. By applying the innovative TransCon technology platform, preclinical data also showed that TransCon IL-2 β/γ demonstrated a long in vivo half-life of approximately 32 hours, expected to support potential dosing of every three weeks in patients. Preclinical results show a single dose of TransCon IL-2 β/γ selectively expanded lymphocyte counts (CD8+ T cells and NK cells) in non-human primates, with minimal signs of systemic inflammation (IL-5 and IL-6 markers) or endothelial cell damage (E-Selectin and VCAM-1 markers) and no dose-limiting toxicities.

Presentation Details

American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Virtual Annual Meeting II

Title Date/Time
P4507: TransCon™ IL-2 β/γ: a novel long-acting prodrug of receptor-biased IL-2 designed for improved pharmocokinetics and optimal activation of T cells for the treatment of cancer Monday, June 22, 2020

8:45 a.m. Eastern

The poster is available on the company’s website under Selected Publications in the Pipeline section:

About TransCon™ Oncology Programs

Ascendis Pharma is developing potentially best-in-class oncology therapies by applying its TransCon technologies for systemic and intratumoral administration to clinically validated pathways in order to improve efficacy and reduce systemic toxicity. Multiple oncology programs are currently in preclinical evaluation.

About TransCon™ Technology

TransCon refers to “transient conjugation.” The proprietary TransCon platform is an innovative technology to create new therapies that are designed to potentially optimize therapeutic effect, including efficacy, safety and dosing frequency. TransCon molecules have three components: an unmodified parent drug, an inert carrier that protects it, and a linker that temporarily binds the two. When bound, the carrier inactivates and shields the parent drug from clearance. When injected into the body, physiologic conditions (e.g., pH and temperature) initiate the release of the active, unmodified parent drug in a predictable manner. Because the parent drug is unmodified, its original mode of action is expected to be maintained. TransCon technology can be applied broadly to a protein, peptide or small molecule in multiple therapeutic areas, and can be used systemically or locally.

About Ascendis Pharma A/S

Ascendis Pharma is applying its innovative platform technology to build a leading, fully integrated biopharma company focused on making a meaningful difference in patients’ lives. Guided by its core values of patients, science and passion, the company utilizes its TransCon™ technologies to create new and potentially best-in-class therapies.

Ascendis Pharma currently has a pipeline of three independent endocrinology rare disease product candidates in clinical development and is advancing oncology as its second therapeutic area of focus. The company continues to expand into additional therapeutic areas to address unmet patient needs.

Ascendis is headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, with additional offices in Heidelberg and Berlin, Germany, and in Palo Alto and Redwood City, California.

For more information, please visit

SOURCE: Ascendis Pharma

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