Vedantra Pharmaceuticals Announces a Joint Research Collaboration with Neon Therapeutics to Develop Cancer Vaccines

CAMBRIDGE, MA, USA I March 14, 2017 I Vedantra Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an immunotherapy company focused on developing products for cancer and infectious disease, today announced a joint collaboration to explore cancer vaccine research with Neon Therapeutics, an immuno-oncology company focused on developing novel therapeutics leveraging neoantigen biology to treat cancer. The two companies will contribute their respective expertise non-exclusively to explore the potential benefits of combining Vedantra’s cutting edge albumin-binding, lymph node targeting amphiphile technology with Neon’s innovative capabilities in neoantigen vaccine research.

“We are excited to work with Neon Therapeutics, a leading neoantigen company, on this joint research collaboration to explore the various vaccine opportunities that exist with both of our company’s programs. Although our albumin-binding amphiphile technologies have the potential to be effective at combating cancer by enhancing the body’s natural immune responses, our partnership has clear benefits to exploring innovative ways to synergistically enhance both of our programs,” said Julian Adams, Ph.D., Executive Chairman of Vedantra. “In addition to the continued development of Vedantra’s therapeutic technologies, we are pleased to move forward on a collaboration that could place both Vedantra and Neon at the forefront of cancer vaccine development.”

“Vedantra’s focus on generating novel therapeutics leverages proprietary platform technologies that are able to deliver agents directly to antigen-presenting cells of the lymph nodes, and builds upon years of research that could be further enhanced through a collaboration with a company like Neon,” said Darrell Irvine, Ph.D., Professor, Departments of Biological Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Founder and Scientific Consultant of Vedantra. “We are excited for the opportunity to explore and evaluate the potential benefits of applying this technology to neoantigen-based vaccines.”

Neoantigens, which are often associated with tumors, arise as a result of accumulating somatic mutations and foreign sources such as viruses. These alterations in a patient’s tumor DNA occur during the development and progression of tumors. The objective of the joint research collaboration is to continue development of therapeutic vaccines that raise immune responses against neoantigens that allow the body to naturally expand immune cells capable of destroying infected or cancerous cells without harming normal tissues.

About Albumin-Binding, Lymph Node Targeting Amphiphile Technology
In this era of neoantigen discovery, albumin-binding amphiphilic peptides delivering a neoantigen payload directly to the lymph node provides a natural setting for production of large quantities of T-cells specifically trained to attack tumors by homing in on the presence of specific neoantigens on the tumor cell surface. Recognition of the tumor neoantigen stimulates the T-cell to kill the tumor cell. The process starting with a defined neoantigen peptide is elegant in its simplicity. It involves coupling a highly specific lipid construct to the neoantigen in a single step. The resulting conjugate binds to albumin upon injection, thus directly carrying the neoantigen to the lymph node where T-cells are primed. Thus, unprecedented levels of poly-functional, tumor-killing CD8 T-cells can now be achieved with peptidic neoantigens coupled to amphiphilic components.

About Vedantra Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Vedantra Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an immunotherapy company focused on developing products for cancer and infectious diseases. Vedantra’s technologies enlist both antibody and T-cell responses that impair and destroy pathogens before they can replicate and cause serious damage in the body. Prophylactic vaccines have been among the greatest achievements in human healthcare, demonstrating the power of natural immune responses when focused on the right targets. Vedantra builds upon advances in antibody and T-cell therapies, using the body’s natural immune responses against defined targets to create effective, durable and safe prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines targeting endemic maladies.

SOURCE: Vedantra Pharmaceuticals

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