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Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies and PhotonPharma Inc. announce collaboration to develop a novel cancer immunotherapy

Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies and PhotonPharma Inc. announce collaboration to develop a novel cancer immunotherapy

One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. [1]

Lakewood, Colorado, USA, and Fort Collins, Colorado, USA,   August 11, 2021 –  Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies (Terumo), a medical device company specializing in a portfolio of technology, software and services for blood component collection, therapeutic apheresis and cellular technologies, and PhotonPharma Inc., a cancer immunotherapy developer, today announces they have established a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for collaboration to develop Innocell(TM), a novel tumour specific immunotherapy (a therapeutic vaccine) for solid tumours. The benefit to patients is that collaborations like this can help improve the speed to market for valuable treatments.

To help in the cancer immunotherapy development process, PhotonPharma is using Terumo’s Mirasol(R) Pathogen Reduction Technology (PRT) in the manufacturing process. The initial agreement authorizes PhotonPharma to reference the Device Master File (DMF) on record with the FDA for the Mirasol system. This DMF will then support the PhotonPharma regulatory submission for its Innocell therapeutic vaccine technology. Additionally, Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies will supply Mirasol illuminators and single-use sets for the immunotherapy preparation process used in the clinical trial.

Mirasol has been used in select markets outside the United States since 2007. Terumo designed Mirasol to reduce pathogen load and inactivate residual white blood cells in whole blood and blood components. PhotonPharma’s specific use of Mirasol is a further example of how Terumo's products are being used to develop treatments across the life-sciences sector to help patients gain access to medical therapies.

Another potential therapy in the War Against Cancer
The American Cancer Society’s 2021 forecast projects 1.9 million new cancer diagnoses and more than 600,000 cancer deaths. Each day, that’s approximately 5,200 newly diagnosed cancer cases and 1,670 cancer deaths. Ninety percent of the cases diagnosed are expected to be from solid tumours [2].

Therapeutic cancer vaccines are developed to stimulate a patient’s immune system to fight established cancer. They are different from prophylactic vaccines, which are given to healthy individuals to prevent infection and related diseases.

PhotonPharma developed its technology to be differentiated from other therapeutic cancer vaccines in its potential to preserve solid tumour antigens, cell metabolism and protein translation while also potentially achieving inactivation of cellular replication.

This MOU is the first part of a longer-term collaboration to advance PhotonPharma’s Innocell. The collaboration focuses on the development, regulatory approval and future commercialization of PhotonPharma's Innocell vaccine. PhotonPharma is currently preparing an Investigational New Drug (IND) submission related to a phase I clinical trial targeting triple-negative breast cancer.

“This agreement to work together with Terumo increases the potential to advance a new therapy for patients suffering from a variety of solid tumour malignancies including breast cancer,” said Dr Gary Gordon, M.D., PhD, former Divisional Vice President of Abbvie Oncology and PhotonPharma board member. “Working together will benefit patients in need of new therapeutic approaches to treat their underlying disease.”

Antoinette Gawin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies, says: “For Terumo, strategic collaborations increase the potential speed to market and decrease development costs of therapies. This will enable patients to benefit from therapies earlier. Contributing toward the development and commercialization of Innocell enables Terumo to contribute toward the next potential major medical breakthrough.”

[1] American Cancer Society. (2021). Retrieved 4 August 2021 from

[2] American Cancer Society. (2021). Cancer Facts and Figures. Retrieved from Cancer Facts and Figures 2021:

About PhotonPharma
PhotonPharma is developing the Innocell therapeutic cancer vaccine, designed as a personalized therapy using autologous tumour tissue. The technology is based on a photochemical inactivation platform, designed to use riboflavin (Vitamin B2) and UV light in a proprietary method to render tumour cells incapable of replication but can still metabolize, express proteins, present antigen and stimulate immune recognition and response mechanisms.

In combination with selected adjuvants, PhotonPharma’s Innocell has demonstrated the ability of this technology to prevent metastatic tumour formation, reduce the growth of tumours and stimulate cellular immune response pathways in preclinical development animal models.

PhotonPharma is based in Fort Collins, Colorado, USA, at the Research Innovation Center of Colorado State University.

About Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies 
Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies is a medical technology company. Our products, software and services enable customers to collect and prepare blood and cells to help treat challenging diseases and conditions. Our employees around the world believe in the potential of blood and cells to do even more for patients than they do today.

Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies' customers include blood centres, hospitals, therapeutic apheresis clinics, cell collection and processing organizations, researchers and private medical practices. Our customers are based in over 130 countries across the globe. We have 750 more granted patents, with more than 150 additionally pending.

We have global headquarters in Lakewood, Colorado, USA, along with five regional headquarters, six manufacturing sites and six innovation and development centres across the globe. Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies is a subsidiary of Terumo Corporation (TSE: 4543), a global leader in medical technology. 

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Last Updated: 12-Aug-2021