Imugene Extends Partnership with The Medical University of Vienna to Develop Cutting-Edge Mimotope Immuno-Oncology Platform
- Partnership to deliver a pipeline of new “Mimotope” immuno-oncology B cell vaccines against novel oncology targets
- Imugene to own the IP in the mimotope vaccines created within the partnership • Mimotopes to be part of the next generation of the high value and rapidly expanding immuno-oncology treatment paradigm
- Imugene has the right to select innovative vaccine candidates against a variety of tumors
- This extends Imugene's already established collaboration with the Medical University of Vienna with the Her-Vaxx immuno-oncology vaccine to be back in the clinic in 2016
Melbourne, Australia, 20 January 2016: Imugene Limited (ASX:IMU), a clinical stage immuno-oncology company, announces today the extension of a partnership with the Medical University of Vienna to discover and develop new mimotope-based immunotherapies against validated and new oncology targets.
A mimotope is a small molecule, often a peptide, which mirrors the structure of an epitope, the specific target to which an antibody binds. Because of this property it induces an antibody response similar to the one elicited by the epitope. Mimotope vaccines can trigger B-cells to produce antibodies cross reactive with the native epitope they recognise.
Imugene will own the Intellectual Property in the mimotope vaccines generated under the partnership as well as the right to use the platform to generate additional mimotope vaccines independent of the University. In addition, Imugene is entitled to access additional mimotope vaccines of interest to it.
Professor Dr Ursula Wiedermann, Chief Scientific Officer of Imugene said “This is particularly exciting since mimotope cancer vaccines are set to be part of the next wave of the immuno-oncology revolution in cancer therapy. This project will position Imugene competitively in immuno-oncology research, expanding its pipeline and will efficiently transform Imugene into a multi-asset biopharmaceutical company.”
Executive Chairman Mr Paul Hopper said “Imugene has secured a strategic license and entered into a research collaboration with the Medical University of Vienna which greatly extends the company’s oncology franchise and pipeline. Thanks largely to the strong relationships being developed between Imugene and the Medical University of Vienna and Prof. Wiedermann on the HER-Vaxx program, we are now able to actively participate in this paradigm shifting research underway at the Medical University of Vienna and systematically develop cutting edge drug candidates. Work has commenced and we look forward with anticipation to developments in this area. Whilst being cautious about the early stage of the program, what is particularly exciting is the potential to discover mimotopes for vaccination against cancer targets offering the opportunity to further develop the current treatment concepts of best selling drugs.”
“This collaboration gives Imugene the opportunity to build on our unique and promising pipeline of immuno-oncology B-cell vaccines. This innovative approach to cancer therapy will ensure
Imugene maintains its competitive edge in cancer targets.”, said Leslie Chong, Chief Operating Officer.
Professor Wiedermann said “I am delighted to be working closely with Imugene in this important research here at the Medical University of Vienna. Traditional methods to identify mimotopes such as commercially available random libraries suffer from numerous challenges including possible detection of false positive target antigens. With this new approach we will also open up opportunities beyond oncology, such as infectious diseases or immunological disorders.”
Mimotopes are peptides representing cancer or other targets of interest and induce specific and potent antibody responses. Mimotopes represent a rich and diverse immuno-oncology development opportunity. This project with the University of Vienna will expand on this ground breaking research.
The term mimotope was coined to refer to a peptide that is able to bind to the antigen-binding site of an antibody, not necessarily identical with but an acceptable mimic of the essential features of the epitope. Mimotopes mimic the antigenicity and the immunogenicity of the epitope by inducing antibodies cross reactive with the native epitope. Traditionally mimotopes were identified by testing combinatorial peptide libraries or phage display, and selecting those peptides that bind to anti-protein antibodies. From 2016 on Imugene and researchers in Prof. Wiedermann’s laboratory will use an advanced approach to identify mimotopes which mimic selected oncology targets.
About Imugene and HER-Vaxx
Imugene (ASX: IMU) is a clinical stage immuno-oncology company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. Imugene’s lead product is HER-Vaxx , a cancer immunotherapy designed to treat tumours that over-express the HER-2/neu receptor, such as gastric, breast, ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancers. This unique immunotherapy, developed by leading scientists at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria, is a peptide vaccine constructed from various B cell epitopes of HER-2/neu. It has been shown in pre-clinical work and in one Phase 1 study to stimulate a potent polyclonal antibody response to HER-2/neu, a known and validated cancer target. HER-Vaxx’s successful Phase 1 study was in patients with breast cancer and the next stage of development will be a Phase 1b/2 study in patients with gastric cancer. For further information, please visit www.imugene.com. Sign up to follow @TeamImugene on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TeamImugene.
For further information please contact:
Leslie Chong, Chief Operating Officer
Tel: +61 458 040 433 (Australia), leslie.chong [at]imugene.com
Paul Hopper, Executive Chairman
Tel: +61 406 671 515 (Australia), email@example.com
Stuart Roberts, Head of Corporate Development Tel: +61 447 247 909, firstname.lastname@example.org