Gothenburg, Sweden, 2015-03-27 12:18 CET (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Immunicum AB (publ) today announced that the Company will deliver a genetically modified adenovirus vector to the American Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR), that on behalf of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), conducts research on new drugs for cancer and AIDS.
Immunicum’s adenovirus vector, Ad5PTDf35, will be used in a newly established research program studying the effect of different cell types when relevant genes regulating the activity of immune cells are knocked out or turned off in the cell.
The vector is selected to fit in a so-called CRISPR/Cas9 system, a new technology for modifying disease-causing genes. The technique is based on the defense mechanisms that bacteria have developed to escape viral infections and has recently received much attention in drug discovery after scientific publications in amongst others Science and Nature.
“We looked at several different adenovirus vectors but fell for Immunicum’s variant. Using this vector, we can, in our cellular material, activate or deactivate genes that we know play a central role in functioning of the immune system and in a disease process”, said Eugene Barsov, M.D., Ph.D., Scientist, AIDS & Cancer Virus Program at Leidos Biomedical Research, Inc., a company that is contracted by Frederick National Laboratory (FNLCR) to carry out the research.
“Frederick National Laboratory is one of the world’s leading centers for cancer research. We very much look forward to help support their mission”, said Immunicum’s CEO Jamal El-Mosleh,
Immunicum’s decision to set the adenovirus technology to FNLCR’s disposal is unconditional and part of the Company’s efforts to expand exchanges with leading US institutions in cancer and vaccine research.
For further information, please contact:
Jamal El-Mosleh, CEO, Immunicum, 031-41 50 52,
Certified Adviser Redeye AB
Tel: 08-545013 31. www.redeye.se
About the adenovirus vector technology
An adenovirus vector is a virus particle that can ‘infect’ cells’ DNA with their own genetic material. The method used in most of the gene therapies that are sold or are under development. The current adenovirus vector, Ad5PTDf35, developed by a group of researchers at Rudbeckslaboeratoriet, Uppsala University, and was acquired by Immunicum in October last year. Immunicum’s researchers use the vector to charge the company’s cancer vaccine SUBCUVAX with tumor antigen enhances the body’s own immune system against an emerging tumor.
Frederick National Laboratory of Cancer Research, based in Frederick, Maryland, was founded in 1971 as part of the National Cancer Act. It is America’s only federally funded research center that focuses on biomedical research. Department funded by the National Cancer Institute.
Immunicum AB (publ) develops therapeutic cancer vaccines. A phase II study of the Company’s most advanced project – INTUVAX® against renal cancer – has been approved by the Swedish Medical Products Agency and is expected to start in spring 2015. The project portfolio contains three additional projects against various tumors, including an ongoing clinical study in patients with liver cancer.