Geron will receive worldwide exclusive rights to the LAMP antigen targeting sequence for use in cancer vaccines based on a patent license agreement with Immunomic Therapeutics (ITI). Geron also has the right to select two additional antigen targets under this license.
Geron's therapeutic cancer vaccine, GRNVAC1, uses the LAMP sequence to enhance the triggering of the immune response against telomerase. "GRNVAC1 has demonstrated tolerability and immunogenicity in a Phase I/II clinical trial in metastatic prostate cancer," informs Thomas B. Okarma, Ph.D., M.D., Geron's president and CEO. "In addition, results from this trial suggest that the use of the LAMP signal sequence may help to enhance the already potent immune responses seen with telomerase alone."
The LAMP technology was invented at Johns Hopkins University and recently licensed to ITI for all applications. The LAMP sequence causes an antigen to which it is attached to be taken up by the lysosomal subcellular compartment of the cell. This has been shown to increase presentation on MHC class II molecules, in turn producing greater CD4+ T-cell responses against the antigen and a more potent and longer lasting overall immune response, according to the companies. Adding the LAMP sequence to GRNVAC1 showed increased patient CD4+ T-cell responses and improved cytotoxic T-lymphocyte mediated killing of cancer cells in the Phase I/II trial, reports Geron.