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Bavituximab: Targeted Immunotherapy Through Novel Pathway

Bavituximab is a first-in-class phosphatidylserine (PS)-targeting monoclonal antibody that represents a new approach to treating cancer. PS, shown below in orange, is a highly immunosuppressive molecule usually located inside the membrane of healthy cells, but "flips" and becomes exposed on the outside of cells that line tumor blood vessels, causing the tumor to evade immune detection. Cancer therapies increase PS exposure on the cell surface, further increasing immune suppression in the tumor environment. Bavituximab targets PS and blocks this immunosuppressive signal, resulting in the maturation of dendritic cells and cancer-fighting (M1) macrophages leading to the development of cytotoxic T-cells that fight solid tumors.