ROCKVILLE, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. will present data on its investigational nucleic acid platform, UNITE (UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression), that elicits potent immune responses when used with its investigational UNITE vaccine, ITI-3000, in mice. UNITE fuses a tumor-associated antigen, in this case a mutated form of the large T antigen (LT) of Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV), with lysosomal-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP1). This lysosomal targeting technology results in enhanced antigen presentation and a balanced T cell response, as ITI-3000 activated antigen-specific CD4+ T cells in vivo. The data will be presented at the First International Symposium on Merkel Cell Carcinoma in Tampa, Florida.
“ITI-3000 is an innovative and novel targeted approach to a MCPyV vaccine,” says Teri Heiland, Ph.D., Immunomic’s Chief Scientific Officer. “We are highly encouraged by this data and look forward to continuing to advance ITI-3000 toward the clinic.”
The majority of Merkel cell carcinomas (MCC) are associated with MCPyV infection, making LT an attractive target for therapeutic cancer vaccines. MCPyV integrates into the host genome, resulting in expression of a truncated form of the viral LT in infected cells. While induction of tumor-reactive CD8+ T cells is a major goal of cancer therapy, CD4+ T cells provide essential support to CD8+ T cells by promoting their expression of cytotoxic effector molecules and increasing their migratory capacity. Cytokines secreted by CD4+ T cells, such as IFNγ, can also exert desirable effects on the tumor microenvironment. Hence, a cancer vaccine that promotes potent, antigen-specific CD4+ T cell responses to MCPyV-LT may drive robust anti-tumor immune responses.
Poster Title: Lysosomal-associated membrane protein-1-targeting of the large T antigen of Merkel cell polyomavirus elicits potent CD4+ T cell responses
Poster Session Date and Time: Monday, October 21, 2019 11:15 am–12:45 pm
Location: Moffitt Cancer Center, Stabile Research Building, 12902 USF Magnolia Drive
ITI’s investigational UNITE platform, or UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression, works by fusing pathogenic antigens with the Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein, an endogenous protein in humans, for immune processing. 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 UNITE technology at the crossroads of immunotherapies in a number of illnesses, including cancer, allergy and infectious diseases. UNITE 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 UNITE 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 UNITE 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 development of vaccines through its proprietary technology platform, UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression (UNITE), which is designed to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop vaccines that generate broad immune responses. ITI’s UNITE platform could potentially have broad therapeutic applications in oncology, including viral antigens, cancer antigens, neoantigens and antigen-derived antibodies as biologics and ITI has built a large pipeline from UNITE with six oncology programs and two allergy programs. ITI has entered into a significant allergy partnership with Astellas Pharma and has formed several academic collaborations with leading Immuno-oncology researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, and Duke University. ITI maintains its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please visit www.immunomix.com.