Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are a class of proteins that are an important part of the innate immune system. They alert the body to potential danger by recognizing pieces of bacteria, viruses, or damaged cells. They essentially act like a smoke alarm, warning the body when trouble is detected.
Our lead investigational agent, tilsotolimod, activates TLR9. In cancer patients with solid tumors, tilsotolimod is injected directly into a tumor to trigger TLR9 into action and prime a local immune response to help attack the tumor. This has been demonstrated in pre-clinical models, and our translational studies during early clinical trials have shown rapid immune activation in the injected tumor along with systemic increases in T cells.
Idera is investigating the combination of tilsotolimod with checkpoint inhibitors and other immune activators with the aim of providing improved outcomes for patients in need.