Company News: ISA Pharmaceuticals signs R&D agreement with Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories

–  Experiments to evaluate a novel nasal cervical cancer immunotherapeutic

ISA Pharmaceuticals B.V., a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focusing on rationally designed immunotherapeutics against cancer and persistent viral infections, today announced that its fully-owned subsidiary ISA Therapeutics B.V. has closed an R&D agreement with Japan-based Shin Nippon Biomedical Laboratories, Ltd. (SNBL) to explore a novel nasal delivery for ISA’s cervical cancer immunotherapeutic. In the experiments, ISA Pharmaceuticals’ proprietary Synthetic Long Peptide (SLP®) immunotherapeutic ISA101 will be administered via SNBL’s novel nasal drug delivery technology. SNBL´s patent-protected approach is designed to significantly enhance the absorption of powder-based nasal drugs from the nasal mucosa.

Both parties expect to obtain basic research data on a potential antigen-specific immune response.

ISA101 is ISA Pharmaceuticals´ most advanced pipeline program and designed to treat early-stage, advanced and recurrent cancers induced by HPV16 infections. ISA101 is currently administered via subcutaneous injections and has successfully completed several clinical studies in the Netherlands and Belgium for advanced and recurrent cervical cancer, as well as other early-stage HPV16-related cancers.

ISA101 consists of 13 synthetic long peptides (25-35 amino acids long) derived from the E6 and E7 oncogenic proteins of the HPV16 virus. This strain is responsible for 50% of human cervical cancers and cervical intra-epithelial neoplasias and for more than 85% of HPV-positive head and neck cancers, anal cancers and premalignant HPV-induced anal lesions (termed anal intra-epithelial neoplasia, or AIN).

In the United States, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women after breast cancer. In Japan, approximately 10,000 women are diagnosed for cervical cancer, and approximately 2,700 infected women die from the disease every year. Since HPV can remain persistent in the body for over a decade before cancer develops, there is a strong demand not only for prophylactic vaccines preventing HPV infections, but also for novel immunotherapeutics to treat already infected individuals.