'ITI is playing a key part in the current revolution in immunotherapies that will hopefully enable doctors to treat and mitigate diseases in a variety of unmet needs, including brain tumors,' said Dr. William Hearl, CEO of Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.
Hershey, PA & Boston, MA (PRWEB) July 28, 2014
Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) has entered into collaboration agreements with two researchers to further develop potential treatments for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and deadly malignant brain tumor, in combination with their patented vaccine platform, LAMP-vax.
The agreements, recently executed by ITI and Duke University, are based on the work of John H. Sampson, MD, PhD, MBA, MHSc, Chief, Division of Neurosurgery at The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center, and Duane Mitchell MD, PhD, formerly of Duke, and now Co-Director of the Preston A. Wells Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy and Director of the University of Florida Brain Tumor Immunotherapy Program. The agreements call for research collaboration on brain tumor treatments using ITI’s proprietary lysosomal associated membrane protein (LAMP) technology, to optimize potential vaccine-based treatments previously developed by Drs. Mitchell and Sampson while at Duke University Medical Center.
Connections leading to the deals and interest in the GBM therapeutic space for ITI were established via the National Brain Tumor Society’s Advancing Research to Treatment (ART) for Brain Tumors program. National Brain Tumor Society’s ART program was designed to explore collaborative opportunities to improve the brain tumor research and drug development pipeline by involving all stakeholders, including biopharmaceutical industry executives, life science venture capitalists, philanthropic and patient advocacy organizations, government agencies and institutes, and medical academic researchers,
The inaugural ART conference in 2013 focused on basic industry-academia communications, as well as the technology-transfer and licensing process for potential new treatments. It also allowed a number of the National Brain Tumor Society-funded researchers, including Drs. Mitchell and Sampson, to present their most promising therapeutic candidates, in a pseudo “Shark Tank” environment.
“GBM has proven to be one of the most difficult cancers to treat,” said N. Paul TonThat, CEO, National Brain Tumor Society. “As a brain tumor patient advocacy organization, we see it key to our mission to encourage collaborative research across the drug development landscape as the key to finding better treatments, and ultimately a cure. We are happy to see that Immunomic Therapeutics has bought into that vision and taken this step toward developing an active brain tumor program.”
ITI’s collaboration with Drs. Mitchell and Sampson will aim to increase the effectiveness and targeted delivery of the researchers’ antigens to induce durable, adaptive immune response against GBM cells, while leaving vital, healthy brain tissue unharmed. If further development and pre-clinical testing continue to produce positive data, the company and university will look to move the combined technology into the clinical research phase.
ITI’s research and development team is known for its expertise in molecular biology and immunology. It advances LAMP in collaboration with other technologies that deliver properly designed vaccines to the right immune cell populations in the body.
“Since 2005, we have been further developing and refining the LAMP technology we previously licensed from John Hopkins University,” said Dr. Bill Hearl, ITI’s CEO. “We have applied LAMP internally to the development of allergy immunotherapies and have seen great success in the clinic so far. However, LAMP is a technology that can be incorporated into virtually any DNA or RNA construct to potentially enhance the effectiveness of vaccines, and thereby contribute to the development and application of breakthrough immunotherapies. Through this, we are playing a key part in the current revolution in immunotherapies that will hopefully enable doctors to treat and mitigate diseases in a variety of unmet needs, including brain tumors. We see our current collaboration with Dr. Sampson and Mitchells’ laboratories as a step in that direction, where we hope to share our knowledge about LAMP and our resources to further enable the potentially breakthrough vaccine work that he is conducting in this devastating disease.”
Classified as a Grade IV astrocytoma, GBM develops from the lineage of star-shaped glial cells called astrocytes, which support nerve cells. GBM are also known as the most aggressive of a group of tumors referred to as high-grade gliomas. Patients with GBM have a poor prognosis and usually survive less than 15 months following diagnosis. The current standard of care consists of surgical debulking (full resection is nearly impossible due to the highly infiltrative nature of the cancerous cells into healthy brain tissue), followed by chemotherapy (temozolomide), and radiation. Currently there are no effective long-term treatments for this disease.
About Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.
Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) is a privately held clinical stage biotechnology company headquartered in Hershey, PA with lab facilities in Rockville, MD. ITI is developing next generation vaccines based on the patented LAMP Technology. Our LAMP-vax platform significantly increases the effectiveness of the immune response to nucleic acid vaccines while simplifying overall vaccine design and delivery, yielding safer, more cost-effective human and animal therapies. Our LAMP constructs have been validated in human clinical trials for cancer and have been applied to a wide breadth of targets including allergy, cancer and infectious diseases. For more information about ITI and LAMP Technology please visit, http://www.immunomix.com.
About National Brain Tumor Society
National Brain Tumor Society is the largest nonprofit organization dedicated to the brain tumor community in the United States. We are fiercely committed to finding better treatments, and ultimately a cure, for people living with a brain tumor today and those who will be diagnosed tomorrow. This means aggressively driving strategic research and advocating for public policies, which meet the critical needs of this community. To learn more, visit http://www.braintumor.org.
# # #