How to Use a Double-Edged Sword

For Client: Aulos Bioscience

Cancer scientists have long known about IL-2, the cytokine that “melts tumors” because of how it activates the immune system in the tumor microenvironment. The problem is that after some time IL-2 also triggers immune suppression, undermining its own therapeutic effects. This is why it’s known as a “double-edged sword.” Aulos developed AU-007, a monoclonal antibody that binds to the part of IL-2 that leads to immunosuppression. When delivered on its own, AU-007 allows the body’s circulating IL-2 to build up and increase the immune response to tumors, eventually reaching tumor-melting, therapeutic levels, without ever triggering immunosuppression. When delivered alongside IL-2 therapeutics, it allows for smaller and more effective doses with longer-lasting effects.

A tumor microenvironment with an active immune response is considered “hot,” while one without much immune involvement is considered “cold.” To produce this mechanism of action animation, the team at Microverse Studios used cold and warm light to clearly differentiate “cold” and “hot” tumor microenvironments, evoking motifs of fire and glacier caves while keeping microanatomical and molecular structures and events accurate, as is always critical in medical animation.