Vaccitech Oncology Limited enters collaboration with Cancer Research UK to fund a Phase I/IIa clinical trial as first-line NSCLC therapy
Vaccitech Ltd announced today that its strategic collaboration with the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (Ludwig), Vaccitech Oncology Limited (VOLT), has entered into a clinical partnership with Cancer Research UK to develop VOLT’s VTP-600 immunotherapy as a treatment option for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
VTP-600 is a cancer immunotherapy comprised of Vaccitech’s proprietary heterologous prime-boost T cell induction platform; ChAdOx1 and Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA). The two viral vectors are engineered to express the tumour-associated antigens MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO-1, previously discovered and clinically validated by Ludwig. MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO-1 are aberrantly expressed by tumour cells and elicit strong immune responses. The VTP-600 therapeutic vaccine is administered intramuscularly and designed to stimulate the immune system to produce sustained cytotoxic CD8+ T cells specific for cancers that highly express the antigens, which include NSCLC. To maximise therapeutic benefit, VTP-600 can be administered selectively to patients whose tumours express MAGE-A3 alone, and those which also express NY-ESO-1. This novel design may help boost an optimal, highly specific, anti-tumour immune response to destroy cancer cells.
Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development (CDD) will sponsor and manage a Phase I/IIa clinical trial of VTP-600 in combination with current standard of care and first-line treatment (chemotherapy and anti-PD-1) in approximately 80 patients with NSCLC. The trial is anticipated to begin in Q4 2020 across multiple clinical sites in the UK. VOLT holds an option to licence the results of the trial in order to undertake further clinical development and commercialisation of VTP-600.
Vaccitech’s CEO, Bill Enright, said: “We are delighted to enter into a clinical development partnership with two of the world’s most prestigious cancer research institutions. We believe that this partnership is an important validation of our prime boost platform’s utility in oncology as well as infectious disease.”
Jonathan Skipper, Executive Vice President for Technology Development, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, commented, “Previous clinical trials of experimental cancer vaccines targeting MAGE and NY-ESO antigens have demonstrated that these antigens are highly specific to cancer and capable of eliciting strong immune responses. We believe that Vaccitech’s highly effective T cell induction platform should provide a potent immunotherapeutic that, in combination with checkpoint blockade, is capable of inducing sustained levels of cancer antigen-specific CD8+ T cells and the desired therapeutic effect in patients.”
Dr Nigel Blackburn, Cancer Research UK’s director of drug development, said: “This partnership with VOLT is an important step to help accelerate this promising immunotherapy and could help more people survive lung cancer, which remains very hard to treat. This novel approach using a modified adenovirus to prime the immune system and alert it to the presence of cancer cells could offer a completely new way to treat the disease.”
Vaccitech is a clinical stage T cell immunotherapy company developing non-replicating viral vectors as vaccines to treat and prevent cancer and infectious diseases. The company’s proprietary technology platform, comprising Chimp Adenovirus (prime) and MVA (boost), induces, boosts and maintains CD8+ and CD4+ T-cells to levels that are to date unsurpassed by other technologies. The Vaccitech prime-boost platform is licenced from one of the most prestigious vaccine research institutes in the world, the Jenner Institute at University of Oxford. Vaccitech currently has a Phase IIb clinical programme for influenza and is poised to enter the clinic with HBV and HPV therapeutics. Vaccitech is also progressing other products funded by partners, including a Phase IIa study in prostate cancer. The company is backed by leading institutions including Google Ventures, Sequoia China and Oxford Science Innovation. www.vaccitech.co.uk
About Ludwig Cancer Research
Ludwig Cancer Research is an international collaborative network of acclaimed scientists that has pioneered cancer research and landmark discovery for more than 40 years. Ludwig combines basic science with the ability to translate its discoveries and conduct clinical trials to accelerate the development of new cancer diagnostics and therapies. Since 1971, Ludwig has invested $2.7 billion in life-changing science through the not-for-profit Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and the six U.S.-based Ludwig Centers. To learn more, visit www.ludwigcancerresearch.org.
About Vaccitech Oncology Ltd.
Vaccitech Oncology Limited (VOLT) is the oncology focused strategic collaboration of Vaccitech and the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, an international non-profit organization that conducts innovative cancer research to prevent, detect and control cancer, continues to pioneer immunological research in oncology and is looking to enable the clinical development of cutting-edge new treatments that induce and harness CD8+ T cells of the immune system to fight cancer. VOLT licences Vaccitech’s proprietary CD8+ T cell induction platform and research by Benoit Van den Eynde at the Ludwig Oxford Branch, validating this platform with MAGE and NY-ESO-1 cancer antigens, is committed the technology against solid tumour indications.
About Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development
Cancer Research UK has an impressive record of developing novel treatments for cancer. The Cancer Research UK Centre for Drug Development has been pioneering the development of new cancer treatments for 25 years, taking over 140 potential new anti-cancer agents into clinical trials in patients. It currently has a portfolio of 21 new anti-cancer agents in preclinical development, Phase I or early Phase II clinical trials. Six of these new agents have made it to market including temozolomide for brain cancer, abiraterone for prostate cancer and rucaparib for ovarian cancer. Two other drugs are in late development Phase III trials. This rate of success is comparable to that of any pharmaceutical company.
About Cancer Research UK’s Commercial Partnerships Team
Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research. Our specialist Commercial Partnerships Team works closely with leading international cancer scientists and their institutes to protect intellectual property arising from their research and to establish links with commercial partners. The team develop promising ideas into successful cancer therapeutics, software, devices, diagnostics and enabling technologies. This helps to accelerate progress in exciting new discoveries in cancer research and bring new treatments to patients sooner.
Cancer Research UK’s commercial activity operates through Cancer Research Technology Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cancer Research UK. It is the legal entity which pursues drug discovery research in themed alliance partnerships and delivers varied commercial partnering arrangements.
About Cancer Research UK
- Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
- Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
- Cancer Research UK receives no funding from the UK government for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on vital donations from the public.
- Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.
- Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that by 2034, 3 in 4 people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years.
- Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
- Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
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Katja Stout, Scius Communications
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- Vaccitech Ltd
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