ROCKVILLE, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI), a privately held, Maryland-based biotechnology company, today announced an exclusive license with Annias Immunotherapeutics, a privately held Immuno-oncology company, for rights to intellectual property related to targeting antigens of cytomegalovirus (CMV) in cancer as well as methods of improving cancer vaccination. Both clinical stage cancer immunotherapy companies are focused on research and development of a potential new generation of cancer vaccines. The license includes upfront payment, milestones and royalties.
This new license allows Immunomic to combine its investigational nucleic acid based immunotherapy platform, LAMP-Vax, with a patented and proprietary CMV immunotherapy platform, developed at Duke University by Drs. John H. Sampson and Duane A. Mitchell and licensed to Annias. This approach could harness the body’s immune system to recognize, attack and destroy tumor cells that express CMV, which is over-expressed in a variety of human cancers, including GBM.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Drs. Mitchell and Sampson, two giants in the field, to work toward treatment options for glioblastoma patients. GBM is an aggressive brain cancer that has devastated so many lives and for which medical advances have been so incredibly slow,” said Dr. William Hearl, CEO of Immunomic Therapeutics. “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.”
A phase II randomized clinical trial enrolling patients with newly diagnosed GBM will explore whether dendritic cell (DC) vaccines targeting the human CMV antigen pp65 expressed as fusion protein with LAMP improves survival. The clinical trial is funded by the National Cancer Institute (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT02465268) and the Principal Investigator is Duane A. Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Cancer Therapeutics and Immuno-Oncology Program at the UF Health Cancer Center and co-director of the Preston A. Wells, Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy at UF.
Drs. Sampson and Mitchell conducted foundational work investigating a new generation of cancer immunotherapies that targeted CMV antigens, including those specifically focused on GBM, while at Duke University. A series of Phase I studies were completed that utilized the CMV targeting concept in combination with LAMP technology and were published in Nature.
Annias Immunotherapeutics exclusively licensed this patent portfolio from Duke University to develop immunotherapeutic approaches to treat cancers that contain Cytomegalovirus (CMV). Annias is currently pursuing multiple clinical development strategies towards this goal. An ongoing randomized phase I/II trial is testing the safety and efficacy of a novel multi-epitope peptide vaccine in combination with immunological pre-conditioning in patients suffering from GBM. Annias is continuing to develop all aspects of the technology outside of the field that was licensed to Immunomic.
“This agreement validates the dominant patent position Annias has in the field of cancer immunotherapies that target CMV,” said Reiner Laus, MD, CEO of Annias Immunotherapeutics. “We will continue to develop our own portfolio and will further evaluate opportunities for limited out-licensing to companies that develop CMV-directed cancer immunotherapies.”
Immunomic has now exclusively licensed rights to the intellectual property portfolios for the treatment of cancer, including GBM, using nucleic acid and dendritic cell vaccination approaches coupled with LAMP-based technologies.
Cancer immunotherapy is widely viewed as a transformative area of cancer treatment and a burgeoning market. Immunomic’s LAMP-Vax technology is being studied in several oncology indications and has Phase I data in GBM, prostate cancer and melanoma & Phase II data in AML. The CMV approach licensed by Immunomic is detailed in “Tetanus toxoid and CCL3 improve dendritic cell migration in mice and glioblastoma patients1,” published in Nature and in Clinical Cancer Research in 2017, “Long-term Survival in Glioblastoma with Cytomegalovirus pp65-Targeted Vaccination2.”
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. On the heels of two landmark deals in 2015, including an exclusive worldwide license with Astellas Pharma Inc. to explore the use of LAMP-vax for use in the prevention and treatment of allergic diseases, which resulted in over $350M in licensing revenue that year, the company has now focused on the application of LAMP technology to immuno-oncology. For information about ITI and LAMP Technology, visit www.immunomix.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annias Immunotherapeutics, Inc., is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company focused on the development of novel immunotherapeutic approaches to treat cancers that contain Cytomegalovirus (CMV). The company’s product candidates are based on a patented and proprietary immunotherapeutic platform, which harnesses the body’s immune system to recognize and destroy tumor cells that contain CMV. Examples include Glioblastoma Multiforme (a lethal brain tumor) as well as many breast, prostate and colorectal cancers. For more information, please contact Reiner Laus, M.D. President and CEO of Annias Immunotherapeutics at email@example.com.