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Pattern Pharma

About us

Our Mission:

To make patients innately better

Pattern Pharma is a biotechnology company focused developing therapies that mobilize innate immunity to address immune failures underpinning many diseases, with an initial focus on HPV Oncology. The innate immune system is the frontline against all infectious agents and emerging cancers and is also the crucial gateway to the adaptive immune system – it is thus a crucial bedrock of human health that has been largely unexploited to date. In oncology, most immunotherapeutics exploit the adaptive immune system and which have had relatively little success against solid tumors (which make up 90% of all cancers).

Pattern’s lead asset, PP-100, is an immunotherapeutic that addresses a range of cancers by mobilizing the innate immune system. Pattern’s scientific cofounders discovered innate immune cells are activated by receptor clustering and discovered a compound (PP-100) to do this safely.

Intellectual Property protection includes a composition of matter patent (July 2019), a method of treatment patent (Nov 2020) & proprietary manufacturing.

In Q4 2023, Pattern is on track to submit an IND Application with the US FDA for a Phase 1b/2a Study at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for patients with HPV-associated cancers.

Pattern Pharma Announces Closing of C$5 Million Financing

PP-100: Our Lead Product

The innate immune system senses threats through hard-wired receptors which are Pattern Recognition Receptors and include Toll-Like Receptors (TLRs). TLRs are found on the cell membranes of innate immune cells. These receptors are the first line of the defense system against microbes by detecting pathogen associated molecular patterns to mount immune responses.

TLR4 was the first TLR discovered and has unique properties as compared to other TLRs, including that it alone utilizes two independent signaling pathways to activate a broad immune response. Despite extensive efforts over the past decades, there have been no previously FDA-approved TLR4 therapies. Pattern has solved the long-standing challenge of safely and effectively drugging TLR4, a previously undruggable target.

Critically, Pattern’s scientific co-founders discovered a key mechanism by which innate immune cells can be safely activated, and based on this understanding, launched a program that resulted in Pattern’s patented lead asset, PP-100. During this undertaking, the team has been able to generate substantial amounts of supporting human clinical data which significantly de-risk the program.

PP-100 is a TLR4 agonist that activates dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages, causing them to become killer DCs and killer macrophages, which in turn activate NK cells. PP-100 also increases antigen-presenting activities of DCs and macrophages directed towards tumor antigens, which results in anti-cancer cytotoxic T-cells, antibodies and long-term T-cell memory.

PP-100: How it works

Pattern’s PP-100 product simultaneously activates four of the five Toll-like receptors (TLRs) found on the cell membranes of innate immune cells, predominantly TLR4, as well as TLR1, TLR2 and TLR6.

TLR4 was the first TLR identified in humans (1997) and is the most studied member of the TLR family.

TLR4 is unique among all other TLRs as it uses both MyD88-dependent and TRIF-dependent pathways, which allows TLR4 to induce a broader range of immune responses than other TLRs.

Pattern’s scientific co-founders discovered receptor clustering necessary to activate innate immune cells
PP-100 forms large clusters of receptors.

PP-100 activates DCs and macrophages, turning them into killer DCs and killer macrophages (while also activating NK cells & others) and driving the APC activities of these DCs and macrophages directed towards tumor antigens.

The activated cells include:

  • Dendritic Cells (DCs) suppress cancers using IFN-β, TNF-α, TRAIL, Fas-L
  • Macrophages (M1) kill tumor cells using the active radicals ROS, NO, peroxynitrite
  • NK Cells kill tumor cells using perforin & granzymes

PP-100 thereby promotes adaptive immune reactions, thus resulting in anti-cancer cytotoxic T-cells, antibodies and long-term T-cell memory -enables elimination of distant metastatic cells.

PP-100 effect on DCs is to upregulate the key functions necessary for interactions with T cells as well as to generate new long-lived memory T cells & reactivate existing memory T cells.

PP-100 causes the production of:

  • Key cytokines: TNFα, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8 , IL-12, MCP-1, IL-17, RANTES, GM-CSF
  • Membrane expression of costimulatory & MHC molecules: CD80, CD86, CD40, MHCI & MHCII molecules
  • Effector mediators: nitric oxide, peroxynitrite

The result is a broad immune response which then returns to baseline as standard immune dampening mechanisms kick in.

Opportunities: Pipeline in a Product

Based on its mechanism of action, PP-100 may find application in a range of cancers, both as a monotherapy and in combination therapy.

Pattern’s initial focus is on HPV-related cancers. Despite the availability of preventive HPV vaccines, HPV prevalence remains high and HPV-associated cancers remain a significant health concern worldwide. It is estimated that 5% of all cancers worldwide (with more than 600,000 new cancer cases per year) are attributable to HPV.

Other pipeline opportunities for PP-100 include cancers caused by infections in general (15%+ of cancers), as well as other cancers more generally.

Based on data generated, PP-100 has other applications which Pattern may partner, including its use against infectious diseases, as a vaccine carrier or as an adjuvant.


Pattern has collaborated closely with the Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard), the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), McGill University (Goodman Cancer Centre and TB Centre), and the University of Toronto.

Pattern is open to partnerships that will move its clinical programs forward and enhance the development of our internal pipeline.

Directors and Leadership

Mark de Groot, PhD

Director and CEO

Hans Keirstead, PhD


Nick Glover, PhD


John Abeles, MD


Ralph Landau, PhD

Head of CMC

Yann Rioux, MSc

Director, Operations

Key Advisors and Employees

Mark Poznansky, MD, PhD

Clinical and Scientific Advisor

Frank Perabo, MD, PhD

Clinical and Scientific Advisor

Denis Bosc

CMC and Technical Advisor

Dee Mahoney

Commercial Advisor

Pattern Pharma

Toronto, Canada