• Immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy
  • Combination therapy

The renewal and death of cells is a highly regulated and balanced dynamic processes in human body. The quantity for each type of cells is relatively stable. This self-stability (homeostasis) is under close surveillance by our immune system. When malignant growth occurs in cells due to mutation, immune responses are triggered to clear those cells, thereby preventing malignancy and maintaining self-stability. Among all immune cells, lymphocytes are the main effector cells in antitumor immunity. When a tumor develops, macrophages and dendritic cells recognize tumor antigens and present the antigens to T lymphocytes; thereby activating T lymphocytes to kill tumor cells. However, tumor cells can escape or counterattack our immune system by various mechanisms, causing loss of effective anti-tumor immune response. Consequently, tumors will continue to grow and even develop metastasis.

Immuno-oncology (IO) therapy can stimulate the immune response induced by tumor cells, increase the sensitivity of tumor cells to T cell cytotoxicity, trigger and enhance anti-tumor immune response to inhibit tumor growth and kill tumor cells. The anti-tumor process by our immune system consists of many key steps (such as immune checkpoints like PD-1/PD-L1) which are major targets in the development of innovative drugs.

IO is the most innovative, groundbreaking area in cancer research, and has shown promising results in many cancers such as melanoma, lung cancer, gastric cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, renal carcinoma and bladder cancer. We have a robust pipeline of wholly owned, independently developed assets, focused on oncology and with PD-1/PD-L1 and other immune checkpoint inhibitors as our core.

Targeted therapy

Tumor is a systemic disease involving multiple factors. Oncogenic mutation, tumor suppressor gene deletion, or dysregulated gene expression often cause loss of stability in the genome of cancer cells, leading to further abnormal biological behavior of cancer cells. Molecular targeted therapy can effectively kill tumor cells by binding the targeted unique structure and molecules of tumor tissue or tumor cells.

Compared with conventional therapies including chemotherapy and molecular targeted therapy selectively attacks tumor cells while not killing healthy cells. Therefore, it improves the efficiency and effectiveness of anti-tumor treatment, and reduces adverse effect at the same time. Providing patients with higher specificity targeted therapy drugs is another focus in the anti-tumor treatment area. Currently, we are developing several targeted therapies with the objective of becoming the best of its kind. 

Combination therapy

In recent years, IO therapy represented by immune checkpoint inhibitors such as PD-1/PD-L1 has been a huge breakthrough in the oncology field. However, the response rate of most tumors is only 20%-40% in IO monotherapy. IO based combination therapy, for example IO plus IO, IO plus targeted therapy, etc. have synergistic mechanisms to enhance tumor immunogenicity, increase anti-tumor effectiveness, prolong duration of response and therefore, improving treatment efficacy.

The combination of IO with other treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, targeted therapy or another IO will become the standard of care for oncology treatments. Currently, CStone has a pipeline 10+ assets in development with IO as the core; offering multiple combination choices and thus ensuring the comprehensive development of combination R&D strategies.

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