Company News: Provecs Medical closes immuno-oncology collaboration with Medac

—  Joint development of Immunalon® in urinary bladder cancer

Provecs Medical GmbH, a cancer immunotherapy company developing novel treatments to modulate the tumor microenvironment, today announced the closing of a partnership with oncology pharma company Medac Gesellschaft für klinische Spezialpräparate mbH. The partners aim to develop, manufacture and market Provec’s cancer immunotherapy lead product Immunalon® for the treatment of urinary bladder cancer.

Immunalon® is being developed for the treatment of a wide range of solid cancers, including urinary bladder cancer. Financial details were not disclosed.

The collaboration combines Medac´s marketing expertise in oncology and hematology with Provecs´ development know-how, which is based on its proprietary ENVIRO technology platform for innovative immunotherapeutics.

ENVIRO is a unique, patented adenoviral platform for the targeted delivery of up to four biologicals combined in one product to the tumor site. This multivalent approach is designed to reprogram the barriers between the immune system and cancer by addressing up to four immune checkpoints simultaneously. Immunalon® is Provecs Medical´s lead compound based on ENVIRO.

“It is known today that the activation and inhibition of immune cells is regulated by a wealth of molecules called checkpoint molecules,” said Dr. Frank Schnieders, CEO of Provecs Medical. “Tumors establish control over checkpoints to deactivate immune cells directed against the cancer. We also know that blocking these inhibitory checkpoint molecules partially restores the immune system’s ability to control and sometimes eliminate cancer cells. Existing treatments are directed against single checkpoints only and therefore show limited efficacy. We are convinced that addressing up to four checkpoints with our ENVIRO approach makes it much more difficult for tumor cells to escape elimination.”

Provecs achieved ex-vivo proof-of-concept for Immunalon® using its EXVIRO platform, a unique primary cancer tissue platform for ex-vivo therapy simulation as well as pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics studies. This 3D tissue culture system uses patient-derived human cancer tissues to study the tumor microenvironment in its spatial context without disrupting the cellular relationships. Provecs is now developing a first-in-man study concept for Immunalon® in a second indication.

“We are seeking partners for the development of Immunalon in other solid cancer indications with high medical need and a lack of standard therapies,” Schnieders added.