CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Genocea Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GNCA), a biopharmaceutical company developing T cell-directed vaccines and immunotherapies, today announced publications in the current issues of two peer-reviewed journals Clinical and Vaccine Immunology and Vaccine, highlighting the Company’s approach to discovering vaccine candidates that prevent and control chlamydia and malaria.
The Clinical and Vaccine Immunology paper, titled “Resolution of chlamydia trachomatis infection is associated with a distinct T cell response profile,” identified specific responses to T cell antigens in chlamydia patients who were able to clear their infections. The work also identified different antigens associated with chlamydia comorbidities in subjects, such as female infertility. The data suggest that Genocea’s ATLASTM technology can identify unique chlamydia T cell antigens for vaccine development, while avoiding antigens that may increase disease or be pathologic.
In the Vaccine journal article, “Large screen approaches to identify novel malaria vaccine candidates,” researchers outlined a series of distinct large-scale screening approaches to malaria vaccine antigen discovery. They described different techniques, including Genocea’s proprietary antigen discovery technology ATLAS, in use to find targets of either antibody responses or T cell responses using human specimens collected in Controlled Human Malaria Infections (CHMI) or under conditions of natural exposure in the field.
“ATLAS is a first-of-its-kind technology – to our knowledge no studies have ever comprehensively profiled effective T cell immunity in large populations of diverse human subjects to select appropriate T cell antigens for inclusion in subunit vaccines for chlamydia and malaria,” said Jessica Baker Flechtner, Ph.D., senior vice president of research at Genocea. “We are deeply committed to translating the insights uncovered by ATLAS of smarter targets of T cell response into novel medicines in disease areas with serious unmet medical need.”
About Genocea’s Chlamydia Program
There is currently no vaccine against chlamydia. Despite the availability of antibiotics, chlamydia remains a significant global health problem; the consequences of lack of treatment can be devastating. The disease is the most common cause of preventable blindness worldwide, with eight million people visually impaired or blind. Up to 40 percent of untreated women develop pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancies, and chronic pelvic pain. Chlamydia can also cause genitourinary and rectal conditions in men. Genocea has used ATLAS to screen the T cell immune responses of hundreds of human subjects exposed to chlamydia. Through this, Genocea has identified protein targets of T cell responses that appear, in animal models, to reduce bacterial burden and prevent re-infection.
About Genocea’s Malaria Program
Malaria is one of the deadliest infectious diseases in the world. In 2012, more than 600 million cases of malaria were reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), claiming over 600,000 lives, many of them children and largely in developing countries. There is no licensed vaccine to prevent malaria, an infection caused by Plasmodium parasites transmitted by mosquitoes. When the parasite is injected through the bite of an infected mosquito, it rapidly travels to the liver where it replicates in large numbers and is released into the bloodstream causing sickness. T cells in the liver could potentially kill the cells in which the parasite is hiding before the parasite is able to break out into the bloodstream. Genocea's T cell target discovery platform, ATLAS, is currently being applied to identify which components of the plasmodium could act as T cell targets and become part of novel vaccine candidates.
ATLAS is a first-of-its-kind proprietary rapid antigen identification screening system that finds targets of protective T cell responses. The technology solves challenges to date associated with finding targets of T cell response. ATLAS can examine T cell responses from large, diverse human populations, and comprehensively screen every potential protein from a pathogen or target indication in a rapid, high-throughput manner, taking weeks versus years to find relevant antigens. Because targets are identified by ATLAS using actual human immune responses to all potential targets in the pathogen or indication, by the time these candidates reach clinical trials there may be a greater likelihood of success in clinical development. This approach may provide the ability to identify smarter targets for use in developing vaccines and immunotherapies to treat infectious disease, cancer and autoimmune disease.
Genocea is harnessing the power of T cell immunity to develop life-changing vaccines and immunotherapies. T cells are increasingly recognized as a critical element of protective immune responses to a wide range of diseases, but traditional discovery methods have proven unable to identify the targets of such protective immune response. Using ATLAS™, its proprietary technology platform, Genocea identifies these targets to potentially enable the rapid development of medicines to address critical patient needs. Genocea's pipeline of novel clinical-stage T cell-enabled product candidates includes GEN-003 for genital herpes, GEN-004 for the prevention of infection by all serotypes of pneumococcus, and earlier-stage programs in chlamydia, genital herpes prophylaxis, malaria and cancer immunotherapy. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.genocea.com.
Statements herein relating to future business performance, conditions or strategies and other financial and business matters, including expectations regarding clinical developments, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Genocea cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, which change over time. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements or historical experience include risks and uncertainties, including Genocea’s ability to progress any product candidates in preclinical or clinical trials; the scope, rate and progress of its preclinical studies and clinical trials and other research and development activities; anticipated clinical trial results; current results may not be predictive of future results; even if the data from preclinical studies or clinical trials is positive, regulatory authorities may require additional studies for approval and the product may not prove to be safe and efficacious; Genocea’s ability to enter into future collaborations with industry partners and the government and the terms, timing and success of any such collaboration; risks associated with the manufacture and supply of clinical and commercial product; the cost of filing, prosecuting, defending and enforcing any patent claims and other intellectual property rights; Genocea’s ability to obtain rights to technology; competition for clinical resources and patient enrollment from drug candidates in development by other companies with greater resources and visibility; the rate of cash utilized by Genocea in its business and the period for which existing cash will be able to fund such operation; Genocea’s ability to obtain adequate financing in the future through product licensing, co-promotional arrangements, public or private equity or debt financing or otherwise; general business conditions; competition; business abilities and judgment of personnel; the availability of qualified personnel and other factors set forth under “Risk Factors” in Genocea’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). Further information on the factors and risks that could affect Genocea’s business, financial conditions and results of operations is contained in Genocea’s filings with the SEC, which are available at www.sec.gov. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and Genocea assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements.