Cytokines have shown great preclinical and clinical promise, but their full therapeutic potential has been limited by factors such as toxicity and pharmacokinetics.

To address these issues Pio Tx is developing a differentiated, first-in-class agonistic antibody (PIO-001) that can bind to, and amplify the function of, endogenous IL-21. Targeting endogenous IL-21 will overcome the clinical challenges that have been associated with systemic administration of recombinant IL-21, thereby allowing the full therapeutic potential of endogenous IL-21 to be realized.

An antibody as a therapeutic modality will also allow PIO-001 to be conveniently combined with standard of care and other immunotherapies such as checkpoint inhibitors, thereby leading to a large market and commercial potential.