Biotech company Immuneed has published two scientific publications, supporting both its immuno-service and its immuno-oncology offerings.
The articles demonstrate Immuneed’s whole blood loop assay, a tool to predict first-infusion reactions of immunotherapeutics1, and a novel targeting and adjuvant strategy to improve T cell responses that can be used for cancer vaccines.
“When performing preclinical safety evaluation, it is extremely important to use an assay that will give you clinically relevant data from the relevant drug/organ location, and our blood loop system will provide information on the reactions occurring when blood meets drug,” said Justyna Leja Jarblad, co-author of the study and Service Manager at Immuneed. “Another advantage of our assay is that it gives greater sensitivity in comparison to alternative cytokine release assays and therefore higher confidence in the result. The loop system allows us also to dissect mode-of-action of various biotherapeutics.”
“The validation of this method, starting off as a project at Uppsala University, is now available for companies to use in their pre-clinical development of biological drugs. This is a big milestone also for Uppsala University”, said Sara Mangsbo, CSO at Immuneed and Associate Senior Lecturer at Uppsala University.
Specific immunotherapies have emerged as potential treatments for different types of cancer. Therapeutic vaccination relies on the induction of tumor-specific T cells, which can be achieved by delivering tumor-derived antigens to dendritic cells that in turn activate the right T cells. An efficient way to deliver antigens is to use immune complexes (the antigen in complex with antibody), since they are potent mediators of cellular immunity and have been extensively studied. However, an approach to use immune complexes as vehicle for specific immunotherapy has not yet reached clinical use. In the paper by Mangsbo and colleagues (collaborators at Uppsala University and Leiden University Medical Centre, LUMC), a targeting strategy is described that generates defined immune complexes that can improve dendritic cell activation and T cell responses.
“We have established a strategy enabling both targeting of the antigen to dendritic cells as well as inducing dendritic cell activation, using a small part of the potent immunogenic protein tetanus toxin, a protein to which nearly all humans have antibodies due to the general vaccination program,” said Sara Mangsbo, first author of the study and CSO of Immuneed. “We show that our immune complex strategy is clinically relevant, and we will continue to develop the technique to be used in Immuneed’s pipeline for therapeutic cancer vaccination.”