ROCKVILLE, Md. & LINCOLN, Neb.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) and Nature Technology Corporation (NTC) announce today that they have entered into a new license agreement. The licensing of NTC’s RNA-OUT™ and HyperGro™ technology is part of ITI’s expansion into developing nucleic acid immunotherapies for cancer.
ITI believes that LAMP-Vax immunotherapy platform has the potential to transform nucleic acid vaccine therapy. Although additional studies are needed to confirm clinical benefit, LAMP-Vax has the potential to specifically direct the cancer antigen into a processing part of the cell for more efficient presentation to the immune system. Last year, this approach gained important commercial validation when Immunomic Therapeutics entered into significant licensing agreements with Astellas Pharma Inc., totaling over $315 million in upfront payments, as well as potential future milestones and royalty payments.
NTC’s technologies are designed to create a potentially higher expression vector with a preferable selection method, manufactured with a process scaled for clinical use. The scope of this new agreement expands development of LAMP-Vax, coupled with NTC’s technologies, from areas such as allergy to cancer immunotherapy.
“LAMP-Vax, a potentially powerful approach, now coupled with other important elements such as NTC’s technology, may be able to broaden the current use of cancer immunotherapy by complementing existing approaches to treatment,” said Bill Hearl, CEO of Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. “Published preclinical and clinical studies with LAMP show that it can enhance activation of the CD4-positive T-cells, now thought to be a critical component of how the immune system fights cancer. We look forward to our collaboration with NTC and to further evaluating the potential of LAMP in cancer immunotherapy.”
LAMP is an investigational platform that has been clinically studied in allergies and some cancers. ITI is currently collaborating with academic partners to study the use of LAMP in cancer types of high mortality, including cases where there are limited treatment options like glioblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia. ITI believes that these early clinical studies may provide a proof of concept for LAMP-Vax therapy in cancer, and if successful, set the stage for future studies, including combinations in these tumor types and others.
“Nucleic acid immunotherapies are increasingly being tested in clinical trials and pursued by biopharmaceutical companies as cancer immunotherapies,” said Clague Hodgson, CEO of Nature Technology Corporation. “While some in the industry are using technology that was developed decades ago, ITI is a step ahead of the game when it comes to designing, manufacturing and developing LAMP-Vax nucleic acid vaccines that take advantage of the latest advancements, such as those Nature Technology has to offer.”
ITI’s investigational LAMP-Vax platform is thought to work by encoding the Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein, an endogenous protein in humans. In this way, ITI’s vaccines (DNA or RNA) have the potential to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop a broad immune response including antibody production, cytokine release and critical immunological memory. This approach could put LAMP-Vax technology at the crossroads of immunotherapies in a number of illnesses, including cancer, allergy and infectious diseases. LAMP is currently being employed in Phase II clinical trials as a cancer immunotherapy. ITI is also collaborating with academic centers and biotechnology companies to study the use of LAMP in cancer types of high mortality, including cases where there are limited treatment options like glioblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia. ITI believes that these early clinical studies may provide a proof of concept for LAMP-Vax therapy in cancer, and if successful, set the stage for future studies, including combinations in these tumor types and others. Preclinical data is currently being developed to explore whether LAMP nucleic acid constructs may amplify and activate the immune response in highly immunogenic tumor types and be used to create immune responses to tumor types that otherwise do not provoke an immune response.
About Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.
Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) is a privately-held clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering the study of the LAMP-based nucleic acid immunotherapy platforms. These investigational technologies have the potential to alter how we use immunotherapy for cancer, allergies and animal health. ITI has entered into a significant licensing agreement with Astellas Pharma Inc. to explore the use of LAMP-Vax, an immunotherapy platform, for use in the prevention and treatment of allergic diseases. For information about ITI and LAMP Technology, visit www.immunomix.com.
About Nature Technology Corporation, RNA-OUT™, and HyperGRO™
Nature Technology Corporation is a biotechnology company that provides world class technology platforms, including non-viral vectors (plasmids) designed to offer improved safety features and higher expression, and processes producing gene and nucleic acid-based therapies. NTC also provides cost effective outsourcing of product development services including synthetic gene design, vector construction, plasmid DNA and recombinant protein manufacturing. NTC’s plasmid backbones are smaller than conventional plasmids and designed to be more potent. NTC has also engineered them with a new selection method called RNA-OUT sucrose selection method. This new technology will potentially be more favorably viewed by regulators than standard plasmid backbones that use elements such as antibiotic selection markers. To manufacture vectors, NTC has also developed a scalable manufacturing process called HyperGRO, which aims to increase yield while decreasing costs. For information, visit www.natx.com.
This press release is based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions relating to, among other things, ITI, NTC, the LAMP technology and NTC’s RNA-OUT™ and HyperGro™ technologies that may contain forward looking statements. Forward looking statements include statements about our future plans and may be indicated by words such as, “we expect,” “we plan,” “we believe,” or other similar words. While these forward-looking statements represent our current judgment on what the future holds, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which reflect our opinions only as of the date of this presentation. We are not obligating ourselves to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to these forward looking statements in light of new information or future events.