XVIVO partnered with Maverick Therapeutics to create an animation that brought to life the mechanism of action behind their pioneering approach to solid tumor cancer immunotherapy. A product of brilliant protein engineering, Maverick’s innovative COBRA™ therapeutic platform generates conditionally active bispecific T cell engagers designed to eliminate solid tumors.   

To date, CAR-Ts and bispecific T cell engagers have transformed the treatment landscape for hematological cancers but have yet to show promise in solid tumor cancers, which represent 90% of all cancers. Conversely, immune checkpoint inhibitors have demonstrated efficacy as targeted therapies against solid tumors, but responses are seen in only a small proportion of all patients. Maverick has taken on the challenge to address this enormous unmet need by engineering potent and conditionally active T cell therapies that that can safely target solid tumors. Unlike other inherently active T cell engagers, COBRAs are prodrugs that are designed to only become active T cell engagers once acted upon by proteases in the tumor microenvironment. This unique design allows for T cell-mediated killing only at the site of the tumor while sparing damage to patients’ healthy tissues.

COBRA molecules also have a built-in safety mechanism that extends their half-life in circulation prior to activation, allowing for less frequent dosing versus continuous infusion required for first generation T cell engagers. Once the COBRA prodrug is activated within the tumor microenvironment, the half-life extension component is physically detached, allowing for rapid elimination of the active molecules once the tumor has been eradicated. Preclinical results suggest that COBRAs have a therapeutic index that is 30 to 100 times greater than that of a standard inherently active T cell engager.

Maverick Therapeutics had XVIVO at the top of their list to animate this project based on a previous positive experience partnering together. Maverick knew XVIVO could transform their ideas and basic PowerPoint animations into a story that was both stunning and scientifically accurate, because of their “incredible creative and technical expertise.”

“Thanks to the XVIVO team, the final product is something that we are enormously proud of.” – Kristen Hawley, Sr Business Associate, Maverick Therapeutics