-Data demonstrate that UNITE, as a nucleic acid platform, may elicit potent immune responses and inhibit tumor growth
ROCKVILLE, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. will present data on its investigational nucleic acid platform, UNITE (UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression), that elicits potent immune responses and inhibits tumor growth when used with its investigational vaccine, ITI-4000, in mice. In preclinical studies, ITI-4000, a DNA vaccine targeting EBNA1, demonstrated robust activation of anti-tumor CD4 and CD8 T cells in vivo and promoted tumor infiltration with activated TNFα-producing CD8 T cells. Intratumoral IL-12-producing dendritic cells and iNOS-producing macrophages were also induced by the vaccine. This data will be presented at the SITC-ASCO Clinical Immuno-Oncology Symposium in Orlando, Florida.
“ITI-4000 is an innovative and novel approach to an EBV-tumor vaccine,” says Rich Ambinder, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Professor of Oncology at Johns Hopkins, Immunomic’s Scientific Advisory Board member, and expert in viral-driven malignancies.
Current treatment strategies for nasopharyngeal carcinoma are limited to radiation and chemotherapy, demonstrating a need for new, targeted therapies. Most nasopharyngeal carcinomas express Epstein-Barr nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1), a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein involved in maintenance of the episomal virus genome that is required for EBV latency and associated transformation. Targeting EBNA1 allows for an immunotherapeutic approach by exploiting the potential of the immune system to recognize tumor cells through their expression of this viral antigen. We designed a DNA vaccine encoding EBNA1 using the UNITE platform (ITI-4000). The UNITE platform is based in part on lysosomal targeting technology which results in enhanced antigen presentation and a balanced T cell response. We report that the ITI-4000 induced IFNγ- and TNFα-producing effector memory CD4 T and CD8 T cells, with complete rejection of EBNA1-expressing tumors observed in 50% of mice. Mice rejecting tumors were protected from rechallenge with CT26-EBNA1, demonstrating that antigen-specific memory was induced in these animals. These pre-clinical data suggest that ITI-4000 has the potential to be used as an immunotherapeutic agent against EBV-associated cancers.
Poster Session B
Poster Title: The Effect of Lysosomal-associated membrane protein-1-targeting of Epstein–Barr virus nuclear antigen 1 (EBNA1) elicits potent immune responses and inhibits tumor growth in preclinical studies
Date and Time: 02/07/2020, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM; 02/07/2020, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Abstract ID: #74
ITI’s investigational UNITE platform, or UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression, is thought to work by encoding the Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein, an endogenous protein in humans. In this way, ITI’s vaccines (DNA or RNA) have the potential to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop a broad immune response including antibody production, cytokine release, and critical immunological memory. This approach could put UNITE technology at the crossroads of immunotherapies in a number of illnesses, including cancer, allergy, and infectious diseases. UNITE is currently being employed in Phase II clinical trials as a cancer immunotherapy. ITI is also collaborating with academic centers and biotechnology companies to study the use of UNITE in cancer types of high mortality, including cases where there are limited treatment options like glioblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia. ITI believes that these early clinical studies may provide a proof of concept for UNITE therapy in cancer, and if successful, set the stage for future studies, including combinations in these tumor types and others. Preclinical data is currently being developed to explore whether LAMP nucleic acid constructs may amplify and activate the immune response in highly immunogenic tumor types and be used to create immune responses to tumor types that otherwise do not provoke an immune response.
About Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.
Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) is a privately-held, clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering the development of vaccines through its proprietary technology platform, UNiversal Intracellular Targeted Expression (UNITE), which is designed to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop vaccines that generate broad immune responses. ITI’s UNITE platform could potentially have broad therapeutic applications in oncology, including viral antigens, cancer antigens, neoantigens, and antigen-derived antibodies as biologics. ITI has built a large pipeline from UNITE with six oncology programs and two allergy programs. ITI has entered into a significant allergy partnership with Astellas Pharma and has formed several academic collaborations with leading Immuno-oncology researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute, Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, and Duke University. ITI maintains its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, please visit www.immunomix.com