Immunomic Therapeutics negotiated an exclusive license to Annias Immunotherapeutics’ platform covering technology for targeting cytomegalovirus (CMV) antigens in cancer. The CMV immunotherapy platform was developed by John H. Sampson, M.D., Ph.D., and Duane A. Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., at Duke University and licensed to Annias. Immunomic will combine the CMV platform with its own nucleic acid-based immunotherapy LAMP-Vax technology as a potential treatment for cancers that express CMV, including glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Financial details of the licensing agreement were not disclosed

“This license enables us to support and accelerate development of a potential new generation of cancer immunotherapy based on our proprietary LAMP-Vax platform not only for GBM but also for other types of cancer,” commented William Hearl, Ph.D., CEO of Immunomic Therapeutics. 

The National Cancer Institute is funding an ongoing Phase II study evaluating a dendritic cell (DC) vaccine targeting the human CMV antigen pp65, expressed as fusion protein with lysosomal-associated membrane protein (LAMP), in patients with glioblastoma multiitiforme (GMB). The Duke researchers have previously carried out Phase I studies evaluating the CMV-targeting platform in combination with LAMP.

Annias is carrying out a Phase I/II trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of a novel multiepitope peptide vaccine in combination with immunological preconditioning in GBM patients. The firm said it will continue to develop all aspects of the technology outside of the field licensed to Immunomic.

Immunomic’s LAMP-Vax platform for DNA vaccine development is designed to improve antigen presentation and enhance immune system responses to vaccination. The firm licensed its LAMP-Vax allergy portfolio to Astellas Pharma in 2015, in a $300 million up-front deal. The pipeline includes an early-clinical-stage candidate against Japanese red cedar, and preclinical vaccine candidates againt peanut, dog, and other allergies. Applications for LAMP-Vax in oncology are also in development by companies and academic laboratories, including a study in leukemia by Immunomic's partner and licensee Asterias Biotherapeutics.



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