Incyte is developing an antagonistic anti-TIM-3 antibody.
T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-3 (TIM-3) is a co-inhibitory receptor expressed on CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, regulatory T cells (T-regs), and innate immune cells. Multiple ligands exist for TIM-3, including galectin-9, ceacam-1, phosphatidyl serine, and HMGB1. Ligand binding to TIM-3 transmits a negative signal to the cell that promotes immunosuppression.
In cancer, TIM-3 co-expression with PD-1 identifies highly dysfunctional or exhausted tumor-infiltrating effector T cells. In preclinical models, combined inhibition of TIM-3 and PD-1 has been shown to be superior to PD-1 blockade alone at improving T-cell function and suppressing tumor growth.
The therapeutic inhibition of TIM-3 has the potential to improve both cell-mediated and innate immune responses against cancer.