TapImmune signed a research and technology license option agreement with the Mayo Clinic centered on the development of smallpox vaccine technology combining novel peptide antigens with the firm’s TAP (transporters associated with antigen processing) technology. The research will be carried out by Gregory Poland, M.D., at the Mayo Clinic, who is developing the peptide antigen-based vaccination approach as an alternative to live vaccination. TapImmune retains an exclusive option to the smallpox vaccine technology once the research studies have been completed.
The deal follows on from a separate agreement between TAPImmune and the Mayo Clinic in June, centered on the clinical development of a breast cancer vaccine technology. The terms of this agreement give TapImmune an option to license the technology after Phase I trials.
TapImmune is exploiting its TAP technology for the development of vaccines to treat cancer and infectious disease. The platform is essentially designed to modulate the activity of the body’s antigen processing machinery by helping to boost the effective presentation of cell surface MHC class I molecules to the immune system.
The firm’s lead cancer vaccine AdhTAP is a therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of TAP deficient solid tumors, metastic cancers, and chronic infectious disease. The product is designed to resurrect MHC I expression in tumors, to allow their recognition by killer T cells. TapImmune’s MVA-TAP candidate is being developed as a prophylactic vaccine adjuvant. In addition to its agreements with the Mayo Clinic, TapImmune also has an ongoing collaboration with The Aeras Global TB Vaccine Foundation, to evaluate the efficacy of TAP in concert with novel vaccine vectors encoding TB immunogens.