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Phio Pharmaceuticals Announces Preclinical Data Demonstrating PH-762 Enhances Persistence of T cells for Tumor Cell Killing as Presented by Helmholtz Munich at the 9th Immunotherapy of Cancer Conference

Excerpt from the Press Release:

MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Sept. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Phio Pharmaceuticals Corp. ( Nasdaq: PHIO), a clinical stage biotechnology company developing the next generation of therapeutics based on its proprietary self-delivering RNAi (INTASYL™) therapeutic platform, today announced that its research partner, Helmholtz Munich, presented preclinical data showing that Phio’s lead clinical product PH-762, an INTASYL compound targeting PD-1, increases the T cell population expressing stem cell-like characteristics, which in doing so, is expected to improve T cell persistence in vivo, therefore, resulting in enhanced duration of anti-tumor activity. These data were presented at the 9th Immunotherapy of Cancer Conference (ITOC) annual meeting, which is being held September 22 to 24, 2022 in Munich, Germany.

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“A well-known hurdle in adoptive cell therapy (ACT) with T cells is the poor persistence of effector T cells in patients, which are key players in killing tumor cells. These data demonstrate that PH-762 enhances the population of T cells that have more stem-like characteristics. As has been reported in literature, stem-like T cells are more resilient and result in an ACT product with prolonged tumor killing activity,” said Dr. Simon Fricker, Phio’s VP of Research and Development. “Increasing the frequency of this cell population by downregulating PD-1 using our PH-762 INTASYL compound is expected to enhance the population of T cells that fight cancer by increasing their proliferative activity, persistence, responsiveness and cell differentiation – characteristics that are believed to improve the immune system’s capacity to kill cancer cells.”

“These new data complement the robust data set we’ve generated over the past several years for PH-762 in the treatment of melanoma by reducing the expression of PD-1, a clinically validated target for immunotherapy. Currently, Phio is conducting a first-in-human clinical trial of PH-762 to treat patients with advanced melanoma,” concluded Dr. Fricker.

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