Pharmacologic inhibition of the controlling immunity pathway enzymes arginases 1 and 2 (ARG1 and ARG2) is a promising strategy for cancer immunotherapy. Here, we report the discovery and development of OATD-02, an orally bioavailable, potent arginases inhibitor. The unique pharmacologic properties of OATD-02 are evidenced by targeting intracellular ARG1 and ARG2, as well as long drug-target residence time, moderate to high volume of distribution, and low clearance, which may jointly provide a weapon against arginase-related tumor immunosuppression and ARG2-dependent tumor cell growth. OATD-02 monotherapy had an antitumor effect in multiple tumor models and enhanced an efficacy of the other immunomodulators. Completed nonclinical studies and human pharmacokinetic predictions indicate a feasible therapeutic window and allow for proposing a dose range for the first-in-human clinical study in patients with cancer.
We have developed an orally available, small-molecule intracellular arginase 1 and 2 inhibitor as a potential enhancer in cancer immunotherapy. Because of its favorable pharmacologic properties shown in nonclinical studies, OATD-02 abolishes tumor immunosuppression induced by both arginases, making it a promising drug candidate entering clinical trials.