Hairy-cell leukemia (HCL) is a chronic malignancy of lymphocytes. Each year approximately 9000 people are newly diagnosed with HCL worldwide. Half of these patients will prove resistant to current treatments or relapse within 15 years. In addition, the gold standard for HCL treatment is non-specific chemotherapy that subjects patients to severe side effects including the possibility of developing melanoma and increased vulnerability to life-threatening infections. HCL usually presents in late middle age. This demographic age group is growing globally and expected to reach over 1.3 billion in 2017. These considerations highlight the urgent need for more effective therapeutics to combat HCL.
Leukemia Therapeutics is committed to develop targeted therapies for HCL that will improve both patient survival and quality of life. Specifically, our proprietary discovery platform has identified eight new therapeutic targets on the surface of HCL. We are currently developing antibodies that bind these targets and testing their therapeutic efficacy.