AbbVie has acquired Mavupharma, a small Seattle-based biotech company, for an undisclosed sum. Mavupharma’s lead candidate is an inhibitor of an enzyme called ENPP1. Inhibiting that enzyme increases the activity of another protein known as STING, which itself enhances the innate immune system. The goal is to boost the efficacy of existing cancer immunotherapies. Several drug companies are trying to activate STING directly, which often requires injecting a drug into tumors. Mavupharma’s small molecule has the advantage of potentially being a pill.