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Jun 2, 2010

NCI to Conduct Phase I Study with Immatics' Glioblastoma Vaccine

  • NCI’s Center for Cancer Research (CCR) is to sponsor and carry out a Phase I trial evaluating immatics biotechnologies’ IMA950 therapeutic vaccine candidate for glioblastoma. Immatics will collaborate with CCR and will supply the drug and carry out immunomonitoring of treated patients.

    The clinical trials agreement will involve a Phase I evaluation of IMA950 in stable or recurrence-free glioblastoma patients following standard radiochemotherapy using temozolomide.

    The deal complements immatics’ existing IMA950 collaboration with Cancer Research UK, which was announced in February. Cancer Research UK agreed to sponsor and conduct a Phase I trial in newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients, to evaluate combined treatment using IMA950 and radiochemotherapy.

    IMA950 has been developed using immatics’ Xpresident antigen discovery platform. The vaccine comprises 11 tumor-associated peptides (TUMAPs) selected on the basis of their overexpression in tumor versus healthy tissue, their immunogenicity, and their relevance to tumor function.

    Immatics is focused on the development of what it terms rationally designed therapeutic cancer vaccines. Lead product, IMA901, is composed of a combination of TUMAPs for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma and is undergoing Phase II trials in Europe. A colorectal carcinoma candidate, IMA910, is being evaluated in a Phase I/II study.

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MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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