Defence Therapeutics Inc, a Canadian biopharmaceutical company specialising in developing immune-oncology vaccines and drug delivery technologies, are pleased to report that Defence’s novel vaccine candidate triggers a potent anti-tumoural response capable of curing animals with pre-established lymphoma.
Antigen presentation is a crucial step for the initiation of an immune response against a given cancer cell, foreign agent, or pathogen. For cancer, this entails priming cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), a white blood cell formed to attack a specific target on cancer cell surfaces. Defence’s objective is to develop a novel therapeutic and an unlimited supply of antigen-presenting cells capable of eliciting potent anti-cancer responses while limiting all manufacturing-associated pitfalls.
Curing pre-established lymphoma
By reprogramming innate Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) to behave as antigen-presenting cells, the Defence team was able to cure animals with pre-established lymphoma. Defence’s novel breakthrough vaccine presents itself as an ‘off-the-shelf Universal vaccine’ (allogeneic to the recipient), the therapeutic effect observed with this vaccination strategy synergised with the immune-checkpoint blocker, anti-PD-1. The results are that all animals survived the therapy, 80%, of these animals, rejected the tumour and remain tumour free.
“The AccumTM technology platform continues to impress with its versatility and continued positive therapeutic results. With this vaccine technology and the AccumTM in hand, Defence can design and create a multitude of vaccine products that can target several solid and liquid cancer indications given further research and development”, said Mr Sebastien Plouffe, the CEO of Defence Therapeutics.
Studies are currently ongoing to re-challenge cured animals with the same tumour to demonstrate long-lasting anti-tumoural memory response. In parallel, Defence is actively working on its CMC protocol to manufacture its A1-MSC “ARM” vaccine in preparation for a Phase I trial in patients with melanoma.
The preclinical studies have been completed at Dr Moutih Rafei’s lab at the Universite de Montreal. Dr Rafei is Defence’s vice-president of research and development and has led, reviewed, and approved the scientific disclosure contained in this press release. Dr Rafei has a PhD in experimental medicine from McGill University and received his postdoctoral training at the Universite de Montreal. Rafei is an immune-oncologist specialising in T-cell development, stem cell biology, cancer immunotherapy, and autoimmune diseases.
Defence Therapeutics is a publicly traded biotechnology company working on engineering the next generation of vaccines and ADC products using its proprietary platform. The core of Defence Therapeutics platform is the ACCUMTM technology, which enables precision delivery of vaccine antigens or ADCs in their intact form to target cells. As a result, increased efficacy and potency can be reached against catastrophic illnesses such as cancer and infectious diseases.
For further information:
Sebastien Plouffe, President, CEO and Director
P: (514) 947-2272