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ISA Pharmaceuticals to present key learnings for cancer vaccine development at the ESMO Immuno-Oncology Congress

ISA Pharmaceuticals to present key learnings for cancer vaccine development at the ESMO Immuno-Oncology Congress


·      Direct correlation between strength of cancer vaccine-induced immune response and clinical response

·      Combination therapy of cancer vaccine with standard of care and/or checkpoint blockers necessary for improved outcomes in treatment of late stage cancers

Oegstgeest, The Netherlands, December 7, 2021 – ISA Pharmaceuticals B.V., a clinical stage biotech company developing immunotherapies to treat cancers and infectious diseases, today announces that its Chief Scientific Officer, Cornelis “Kees” Melief, M.D., Ph.D., will be presenting key learnings in cancer vaccine development in an educational session at the ESMO Immune-Oncology Congress 2021, taking place on 8th – 11th December 2021 in Geneva, Switzerland and online.

ISA Pharmaceuticals uses its proprietary Synthetic Long Peptide (SLP®) technology to develop therapies that create a strong and specific immune response against a cancer or virus. Lead product ISA101b targets Human Papilloma Virus type 16 positive (HPV16+) cancers. HPV16 is a major cause of oropharyngeal cancer (OPC), a life-threatening form of head and neck cancer with a high unmet medical need.

Session: New indications in head and neck (H&N) cancer (incl anaplastic thyroid) (ID 8)

Presentation title: HPV vaccination for H&N cancer therapy (ID 39)

Authors: Cornelis J. Melief

Date & Time: Thursday, 9th December, 15:30pm – 15:50pm CET                                                    

Locations: Room C


Kees Melief, Chief Scientific Officer of ISA Pharmaceuticals, said: “Our findings consistently highlight the direct correlation between the strength of the vaccine-induced immune response and the subsequent clinical response in patients with metastatic (HPV16+) cancers, including oropharyngeal cancer (OPC). Moreover, we argue that to overcome the hostile tumour microenvironment in late-stage cancer, combination of SLP-based therapies with platin-based standard of care and/or checkpoint blocking (anti-PD1 in particular) is necessary for improved treatment outcomes.”

Gerben Moolhuizen, Chief Executive Officer of ISA Pharmaceuticals, said: “ We recently announced that we received FDA Fast Track designation for our lead product ISA101b, for treatment of recurrent and metastatic HPV16+ OPC. We are proud to be presenting our compelling findings in cancer vaccine combination therapy development at this influential medical conference, following the start of a next phase 2 clinical trial investigating the combination of ISA101b and Libtayo® in advanced HPV16 positive OPC.”


About ISA Pharmaceuticals

ISA Pharmaceuticals is an immunotherapy company developing treatments for various cancers and infectious diseases. ISA Pharma has best-in-class technology to stimulate and activate the human immune system, specifically T cells, to fight diseased or infected cells. Its lead asset ISA101b is in late-stage clinical trials for human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16)-induced cancer in a collaboration with US pharmaceutical company Regeneron. Other assets are in preclinical stage development and include immunotherapies to treat patients that suffer from chronic hepatitis B infections, cancers that over-express PRAME, cancers caused by other HPV types than HPV16, or SARS-CoV2 infections. For more information, please visit


About ESMO

ESMO is the leading professional organisation for medical oncology. With more than 25,000 members representing oncology professionals from over 150 countries worldwide, ESMO is the society of reference for oncology education and information. ESMO is committed to offer the best care to people with cancer, through fostering integrated cancer care, supporting oncologists in their professional development, and advocating for sustainable cancer care worldwide. For more information, please visit

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Last Updated: 09-Dec-2021