– Specific OroMucosal ImmunoTherapy (SOMIT) for celiac disease patients supported with EUR 2.5mn funding
Allero Therapeutics BV, a Dutch oromucosal immunotherapy company, today announced that the Company has received a EUR 2.5 million EIC Horizon Grant provided by the European Commission to advance novel treatments for celiac disease patients. The program is based on Allero´s proprietary SOMIT (Specific OroMucosal ImmunoTherapy) platform technology for the treatment of antigen-driven immune disorders.
– New investors Samsara, Lightspeed, Gimv, and Mission BioCapital further strengthen investor base and expand transatlantic footprint
– Company establishes U.S. subsidiary to accelerate international operations
ImmunOs Therapeutics AG, a biopharmaceutical company leveraging its HLA-based technology platform to develop first-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases, today announced the closing of an oversubscribed Series B financing round totaling $74 million. The round was led by new investors Samsara BioCapital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Gimv, and joined by new investors Mission BioCapital, GL Capital, PEAK6 Strategic Capital, and Fiscus Financial, as well as existing investors Pfizer Ventures, BioMed Partners, and Schroder Adveq. Read more…
– Granted EU patent provides market exclusivity until 2028 –
ISA Pharmaceuticals B.V., a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focusing on rationally designed therapeutic vaccines against cancer and persistent viral infections, today announced it has been granted a European patent on its lead compound ISA101. The patent ensures market protection of ISA101’s active ingredient in Europe until 2028.
ISA101 is a therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of high-risk, HPV16-induced diseases. The vaccine consists of synthetic long peptides derived from the E6 and E7 oncogenic proteins of the HPV16 virus. This HPV strain is responsible, among others, for over 50% of human cervical cancers, more than 85% of HPV-positive head and neck cancers, and a variety of premalignant disorders.
The patent covers long peptides of the HPV-E6 protein, including a novel CD4+ epitope and provides exclusivity for the treatment of HPV-related diseases.
ISA101 is currently studied in the CervISA trial, a company-sponsored Phase I/II trial in cervical cancer and anal intra-epithelial neoplasia (AIN). Moreover, the vaccine has established clinical proof-of-concept by successfully completing a Phase II trial in vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN).
Company News: Three Peer-Reviewed Papers by ISA Pharmaceuticals Introduce Strategies to Improve Immunotherapy Against Cancer
– Local Delivery of Checkpoint Control Antibodies Greatly Improve Efficacy and Safety
– Promising Potential for Combinatorial Strategies
ISA Pharmaceuticals B.V., a clinical-stage immunotherapy company focusing on rationally designed therapeutic vaccines against cancer and persistent viral infections, today announced the publication of three peer-reviewed papers that demonstrate the benefit of local delivery of a checkpoint control antibody targeting CTLA-4 (cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4) for the successful eradication of cancer and the reduction of side effects. The papers include a review that underlines the importance of strategies for combinatorial treatments to improve further the immunotherapy of cancer. ISA Pharmaceuticals is developing cancer immunotherapies along those lines, in particular its Synthetic Long Peptide (SLP®) vaccine ISA101 for the treatment of HPV-induced diseases, such as cervical cancer and head and neck cancer, and ISA203 for the treatment of various tumors including lung cancer, head and neck cancer, breast cancer and melanoma.
In a paper just published in Clinical Cancer Research , a team of scientists from Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and ISA Pharmaceuticals report that in preclinical mouse models of cancer, the injection of a CTLA-4 blocking antibody in a slow-release formulation close to the tumor is very effective in activating a systemic anti-tumor (CD8+) T cell response. CTLA-4 is a crucial immune checkpoint protein that down-regulates the body’s immune response. The low-dose local treatment (50μg subcutaneously in a slow-release vehicle) eradicates tumors, including distant tumors, as effectively as a high-dose systemic treatment (2×200μg intraperitoneally). The method also leads to a 1000-fold decrease of antibody levels in the serum, thereby reducing adverse events and the risk of autoimmunity.
These findings are supported by an increasing number of studies demonstrating that local targets, mainly present in the microenvironment of tumors and draining lymph nodes, are key players in tumor progression. As published in a second paper by researchers from LUMC and ISA, a review in the International Journal of Cancer , local immunotherapies have clear advantages over systemic treatments, both in their ability to shift tumor-promoting mechanisms towards effective tumor-eradicating immunity and in terms of reducing the risks of systemic administration.
In the third publication in Seminars in Immunology , current cancer immunotherapy approaches are reviewed, concluding that most standalone immunotherapeutic strategies either fail to affect progressive diseases and survival significantly – or only do so in a minority of patients. The authors support combinations of synthetic vaccines that stimulate tumor-specific T cell responses and adjuvants, immune-modulating antibodies, cytokines, or chemotherapy.
 Fransen MF et al. (2103), Clin Cancer Res, Published Online First June 20, 2013; doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-12-0781
 Fransen MF et al. (2013), Int. J. Cancer, 132: 1971–1976; doi: 10.1002/ijc.27755
 Arens R et al., (2013), Sem Immunol, Published Online First May 21, 2013;