Ground-breaking research from Vienna identified mimotope peptides that when incorporated into Imugene’s proprietary immunotherapeutic vaccine delivery platform generate antibodies that bind specifically to immune cells expressing the PD1 biomarker.
The naturally produced antibodies block a protective mechanism on cancer cells and allows the immune system to destroy those cancer cells, as shown in animal models of breast cancer.
This research was conducted under the leadership of Imugene SAB member Professor Dr Ursula Wiedermann with Dr Joshua Tobias as lead author.
Transforming into multi-asset company
IMU managing director and CEO Leslie Chong said: “Development of this new immunotherapy expands our pipeline and further transforms Imugene into a multi-asset biopharmaceutical company.
“The concept of teaching and inducing the body to generate its own antibodies targeting PD1 expressing cells represents a paradigm shift in oncology and this is the first journal report of treating cancer by this method.
“The publication is a detailed study of the mechanism of action of active immunisation targeting immune checkpoint regulator PD1.
“The results validate and support the B cell ‘epitope’ contained in Imugene’s PD1-Vaxx, scheduled to commence a Phase 1 trial in 2020.”
B-cell cancer immunotherapy
Imugene’s PD1-Vaxx is a B-cell cancer immunotherapy designed to treat tumours such as lung cancer by interfering with PD-1/PD-L1 binding and interaction.
The primary objective of the phase 1 trial is to determine safety and an optimal biological dose as monotherapy and in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Efficacy, tolerability and immune response will also be measured.