AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 08, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aeglea BioTherapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:AGLE), a biotechnology company committed to developing enzyme-based therapeutics in the field of amino acid metabolism to treat genetic rare diseases and cancer, today announced findings from a preclinical study demonstrating that its lead product candidate, AEB1102, an engineered human arginase I enzyme designed to degrade the amino acid arginine in blood, exhibited enhanced inhibition of tumor growth in a mouse model in combination with immunotherapy checkpoint inhibitors. The study data will be presented by Scott Rowlinson, Ph.D., vice president of research at Aeglea, at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) 2016 Annual Meeting in Maryland on Friday, November 11 from 12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET (Abstract #275). Many tumors are predicted to be dependent on arginine for survival. AEB1102 is designed to degrade arginine and deprive tumor cells of this essential nutrient, therefore targeting a tumor growth pathway that cannot otherwise be blocked by small molecule or antibody-based approaches. However, the role of arginine in the tumor microenvironment is paradoxical since tumor associated myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) degrade arginine (via expression of arginase) to inhibit proliferation of anti-tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. Based on this observed role of MDSC, AEB1102 would not be expected to complement the anti-tumor efficacy of immuno-oncology checkpoint inhibitors. Despite this, the results showed that, compared to immunotherapy or AEB1102 monotherapy, a combination treatment of AEB1102 with PD-1 pathway inhibitors decreased tumor size and increased survival in preclinical mouse models. "The results of these preclinical studies are encouraging as they not only reinforce previous data supporting the use of AEB1102 as a monotherapy targeting a metabolic vulnerability of cancer, but open the door for potential broader use in combination with immunotherapies. We believe combination therapies will be a key part of unlocking the full potential of cancer treatments," said David G. Lowe, Ph.D., co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Aeglea. "We are making exciting progress with the development of AEB1102 and look forward to continuing to investigate its use as a potential monotherapy and combination therapy for people with cancer."