The COBRA™ platform addresses these challenges by activating T cells and initiating tumor killing only at the site of the tumor. COBRA molecules are prodrugs selected to bind to specific targets, which may be expressed in both tumor and healthy tissue. However, unlike other bispecific T cell engagers that are inherently active and potent when administered, COBRAs are engineered to take advantage of the tumor’s unique microenvironment for T cell activation; triggering T cell-mediated killing only at the site of the tumor while sparing damage to patients’ healthy tissues.
COBRA™ molecules also include a component that extends their half-life in circulation prior to activation, which allows for less frequent dosing versus the patient-unfriendly continuous infusion required for first generation T cell engagers. Once activated within the tumor microenvironment, this half-life extension component is physically detached, allowing for rapid elimination of the active molecules after they’ve killed the cancer cells, further improving the safety window by reducing the chance that an activated COBRA™ molecule will travel to nearby healthy tissues and cause damage.