Affimed: Ground-Breaking Advancement in Cancer Treatment
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Affimed: Ground-Breaking Advancement in Cancer Treatment

Dr. Adi Hoess, Chief Executive Officer, AffimedDr. Adi Hoess, Chief Executive Officer
Since its conceptualisation, immunotherapy has represented a new frontier in cancer treatment that has begun to show promise. However, patient response rates continue to fluctuate for reasons that remain unexplainable but have been considered from multiple standpoints, such as immune competency and diversity, differing antigen specificity and expression levels, and more recently the role played by the gut microbiota. The complexity of the immune system and factors contributing to its activity are not well characterised, and additional research will require transdisciplinary approaches. In addition, incorporating immunotherapy into adjuvant and neoadjuvant cancer therapy, refining dose, schedule and duration of treatment and developing novel surrogate endpoints that accurately capture overall survival benefit early in treatment are significant challenges in the field. Committed to improving outcomes for cancer patients for nearly two decades, Affimed—a scientific team devoted to unlocking the potential of the innate immune system with unique expertise in innate immunity and innate cell engager-based medicines. The company aims to help patients and healthcare providers overcome limitations and challenges faced by current immune-oncology therapies by arming the body’s innate immune systems in the fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Current I-O therapies in the field of immuno-oncology aim to restore the protective nature of a patient’s immune systems and have demonstrated possible activation of the immune system to trigger tumour killing.
However, new advancements are needed to improve further the patient outcomes, including for patients who have failed previous treatment regimens. Affimed’s proprietary ROCK (Redirected Optimized Cell Killing) platform allows for the modular design of tetravalent bi- and multispecific antibodies, including first-in-class innate and adaptive cell engager products. The fit-for-purpose platform offers versatile features including generation of multispecific antibodies with specific properties tailored to a given indication, including half-life, tissue distribution and optimal tumour and immune cell targeting.

Our immune system consists of two components, the innate and adaptive immune system; both act together to recognise and kill abnormal cells. The innate immune system acts as the first line of defence by activating innate immune cells to kill abnormal cells, such as cancer cells. This process also activates the adaptive component of the immune system, which also functions to identify and kill cancer cells and serves as a second line of defence. Cancer occurs if abnormal cells evade detection by the immune system and continue to grow. Affimed’s unique approach is to restore the innate immune system’s own ability to recognise and destroy tumour cells. Through the company’s proprietary ROCK platform, patients can generate multivalent, multispecific innate cell engagers that activate the body’s innate immune cells to overcome the tumours’ immune evasion mechanism. The innate cell engagers bind to innate cells (natural killer cells and macrophages) via the CD16A-binding domain, while binding simultaneously to specific tumour cells. Affimed’s CD16A-based innate cell engagers are highly effective in activating innate cells (NK cells and macrophages) to activate and kill tumour cells. As the field rapidly evolves, prioritising the development of biomarkers will guide the use of immunotherapies in the most appropriate patients. Affimed’s ROCK platform is already transforming cancer from a death sentence to chronic disease for some patients. By making smart, evidence-based decisions in developing next-generation immunotherapies, cancer could become an imminently treatable, curable and even preventable disease.
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Company
Affimed

Headquarters
Heidelberg, Germany

Management
Dr. Adi Hoess, Chief Executive Officer

Description
Committed to improving outcomes for cancer patients for nearly two decades, Affimed—a scientific team devoted to unlocking the potential of the innate immune system with unique expertise in innate immunity and innate cell engager-based medicines. The company aims to help patients and healthcare providers overcome limitations and challenges faced by current immune-oncology therapies by arming the body’s innate immune systems in the fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases

Affimed