ASN-006 consists of a mannose polymer that can preferentially deliver RNA payloads into myeloid cells that can arise within the tumour microenvironment. The mannose polymer is conjugated to replicon RNA encoding Interleukin-12 and Interlukin-15. The replicon RNA is a self-amplifying RNA and enables persistent gene expression.
There is increasing evidence that many cancers are immunogenic and that the quantity, quality and location of the immune infiltrate within the tumour microenvironment correlates with beneficial clinical outcomes. There is also evidence that in many cancers there is a correlation between elevated myeloid derived suppressor cell numbers with worst patient prognosis. Preclinical studies are being performed to develop an optimized therapeutic candidate combining the selective delivery capability of the mannose polymer with the efficient gene expression of the kunjin replicon RNA. Studies are being performed to evaluate the therapeutic benefit of delivering Interleukin-12 and Interleukin-15 replicon RNA into myeloid cells within the tumor microenvironment.