ROCKVILLE, Md. & SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc., (“ITI”), a privately-held clinical-stage biotechnology company pioneering the study of nucleic acid immunotherapy platforms, announced today that results from multiple ATTAC clinical studies of dendritic cell vaccines have been published online by American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in an article titled, “Once, Twice, Three Times a Finding: Reproducibility of Dendritic Cell Vaccine Trials Targeting Cytomegalovirus in Glioblastoma.”
ITI is developing several dendritic cell vaccines for the treatment of cancer, including ITI-1000 for glioblastoma (GBM), with leaders in cancer immunotherapy for brain tumors, John Sampson, M.D., Ph.D. from Duke University and Duane Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D. from the University of Florida. ITI’s dendritic cell vaccine is designed to target the pp65 viral antigen of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) that is expressed in GBM, but not in normal brain cells.
In the ATTAC studies, the GBM patients’ white blood cells are removed, matured into dendritic cells (DCs), and modified to generate a vaccine to the pp65 viral protein when fused to the LAMP1 protein for antigen presentation. This DC vaccine is then returned to the patient. As observed in the ATTAC studies, ITI believes this approach may harness the body’s immune system to recognize, attack and destroy tumor cells that express CMV in GBM and potentially other cancers. The published results from the three original ATTAC clinical studies are summarized below:
Three separate clinical trials conducted by Drs. Mitchell and Sampson utilized Cytomegalovirus specific dendritic cell vaccines in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma.
The three small studies (total n = 26; NCT#s 00639639, 2366728) revealed that overall 5-year survival increased from a historical low of 5% to 25%. However, in two of the studies, vaccination site pre-conditioning with either Td or GM-CSF:
- Enhanced the immune response by increasing migration of DCs to regional lymph nodes to "present" the pp65 CMV antigen to immune cells.
- Increased the percentage of long-term, 5-year survivors to nearly 35% in that subset of treated patients who received vaccination site pre-conditioning with either Td or GM-CSF.
This data is preliminary, and additional studies are needed.
“These study results not only advance our understanding of a virus’ role in cancer, but they also signal tremendous hope to patients and their families suffering from this devastating disease,” Sampson said. “I look forward to continued evaluation of ITI’s dendritic cell vaccines, including ITI-1000, in the ongoing, randomized, placebo-controlled ATTAC-II study.”
“GBM is the most aggressive form of brain cancer, often resulting in a patient’s death within one to two years from diagnosis. Historically, it is a very difficult disease to treat and current treatment options offer limited benefit to extend survival,” added Mitchell. “The results demonstrated with CMV-specific dendritic vaccines in the ATTAC studies are very encouraging, particularly in the observation of a significant fraction of long-term survivors and favorable safety profile of the vaccine platform. We remain steadfast in our pursuit to identify effective treatments for patients with GBM and look forward to the continued evaluation of ITI’s vaccines in addressing this clear and pressing unmet medical need.”
The AACR article can be found here.
About Glioblastoma (GBM)
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, GBM is an aggressive brain cancer that often results in death within 15 months of diagnosis. GBM develops from glial cells (astrocytes and oligodendrocytes), grows rapidly, and commonly spreads into nearby brain tissue. GBM is classified as Grade IV, the highest grade, in the World Health Organization (WHO) brain tumor grading system. The American Brain Tumor Association reports that GBM represents about 15% of all primary brain tumors and approximately 10,000 cases of GBM are diagnosed each year in the U.S.
About ITI-1000 and the Phase 2 (ATTAC-II) Study
ITI-1000 is an investigational dendritic cell vaccine therapy currently in a Phase 2 clinical trial (ATTAC-II) for the treatment of GBM. ITI-1000 was developed using Immunomic’s proprietary investigational lysosomal targeting technology, UNITE, in the context of cell therapy. In May 2017, Immunomic exclusively licensed a patent portfolio from Annias Immunotherapeutics for use in combination with UNITE and ITI-1000, allowing Immunomic to combine UNITE with a patented and proprietary CMV immunotherapy platform. The ATTAC-II study (NCT02465268) is a Phase II randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial enrolling patients with newly diagnosed GBM that will explore whether dendritic cell (DC) vaccines, including ITI-1000, targeting the CMV antigen pp65 improves survival. This study is enrolling up to 120 subjects at 3 clinical sites in the United States. For more information on the ATTAC-II study, please visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
ITI’s investigational UNITE platform, or UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression, works by fusing pathogenic antigens with the Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein 1, 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 puts UNITE technology at the crossroads of immunotherapies in a number of illnesses, including cancer, allergy and infectious diseases. UNITE is currently being employed in a Phase II clinical trial 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 LAMP1 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. UNITE has a robust history of applications in various therapeutic areas, including infectious diseases, oncology, allergy and autoimmune diseases. ITI is primarily focused on applying the UNITE platform to oncology, where it could potentially have broad applications, including viral antigens, cancer antigens, neoantigens and antigen-derived antibodies as biologics. The Company 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, University of Florida, and Duke University. ITI maintains its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please visit www.immunomix.com.