News Release

NextCure Presents Preclinical Data on a Novel Therapeutic Candidate Targeting VSTM-1 for the Treatment of Progressive Inflammatory Airway Disorders

January 18, 2024 at 4:05 PM EST

BELTSVILLE, Md., Jan. 18, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NextCure, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTC), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to discovering and developing novel, first-in-class immunomedicines to treat cancer and other immune-related diseases, today announced the presentation of preclinical data relating to a novel humanized monoclonal antibody targeting VSTM-1, for the treatment of progressive inflammatory airway disorders, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), at the Keystone Symposium for Inhibitory Receptors in Immune Homeostasis, Disease and Therapy.

VSTM-1 is a cell-surface inhibitory receptor highly expressed on granulocytes, including neutrophils, and pulmonary monocytes that functions as a regulator of myeloid cell-driven inflammatory cascades. Inhibitory signaling is induced when VSTM-1 binds to ligands such as cathelicidin and S100 proteins. This immunosuppressive function, combined with the strong expression profile of VSTM-1 on pulmonary myeloid cells and the prominent role of neutrophils as inflammatory mediators of lung immunopathology, makes VSTM-1 a promising novel therapeutic target for COPD.

NextCure developed an agonist monoclonal antibody (mAb) against VSTM-1 to modulate hyperinflammatory conditions, restore homeostasis and prevent disease. The agonist antibody has demonstrated activity in vitro, ex vivo and in highly relevant in vivo models. Key findings from the study include:

  • The agonist antibody blocks neutrophil-mediated inflammation and cytokine production associated with tissue damage in vitro and ex vivo.

  • Treatment with the agonist antibody reduces pulmonary pathology and prevents disease in animal models, including a highly relevant syngeneic mouse model engineered to express the human VSTM-1 protein.

“We have leveraged our immunology expertise and capabilities to continue expanding beyond oncology and into other diseases mediated by chronic inflammation. The VSTM-1 agonist mAb that we are advancing preclinically provides a differentiated approach with a unique mechanism to ameliorate pulmonary inflammation and the potential to treat and prevent chronic lung disease, including COPD,” said Solomon Langermann, Ph.D., NextCure’s chief scientific officer. “We believe we have a real opportunity to change the standard of care in COPD, and other chronic inflammatory diseases, and address a key unmet need.”

Additional preclinical chronic models of inflammatory disease and relevant, mechanistically based combination studies in COPD and other indications are being planned.

The data were presented in a poster presentation at the 2024 Keystone Symposium for Inhibitory Receptors in Immune Homeostasis, Disease and Therapy:

Title: VSTM-1 Agonist mAb Therapy Reduces Granulocytic Inflammation and COPD
Abstract Number: 2022

About NextCure, Inc.

NextCure is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to discovering and developing novel, first-in-class immunomedicines to treat cancer and other immune related-diseases. Our focus is to bring hope and new treatments to patients who do not respond to current therapies, patients whose disease progresses despite treatment and patients with diseases not adequately addressed by available therapies. 

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Words such as “expects,” “believes,” “intends,” “hope,” “forward” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Examples of forward-looking statements in this press release include, among others, statements about NextCure’s plans, objectives, and intentions with respect to the discovery of immunomedicine targets and the discovery and development of immunomedicines. Forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in any forward-looking statement. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others: our limited operating history and no products approved for commercial sale; our history of significant losses; our need to obtain additional financing; risks related to clinical development, including that early clinical data may not be confirmed by later clinical results; risks that pre-clinical research may not be confirmed in clinical trials; risks related to marketing approval and commercialization; and the unproven approach to the discovery and development of product candidates based on our FIND-IO platform. More detailed information on these and additional factors that could affect NextCure’s actual results are described in NextCure’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including NextCure’s most recent Form 10-K and subsequent Form 10-Q. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. NextCure assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, even if expectations change.

Investor Inquiries
Timothy Mayer, Ph.D.
NextCure, Inc.
Chief Operating Officer
(240) 762-6486

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Source: NextCure