ISA Pharmaceuticals´ Chief Scientific Officer Prof. Cornelis Melief Honored by the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy (CIMT)

- Cornelis (“Kees”) Melief receives lifetime achievement award for his work as a leading immuno-hematologist

Leiden, The Netherlands, May 11, 2017 – ISA Pharmaceuticals B.V., a clinical-stage immunotherapy company, today announced that its Chief Scientific Officer Prof. Cornelis (Kees) Melief has received the first ever lifetime achievement award granted by the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy CIMT for his pioneering research on cancer immunotherapy. The ceremony took place at this year´s 15th CIMT Anniversary Symposium in Mainz, Germany.

Kees Melief is professor emeritus at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and the co-founder and CSO of ISA Pharmaceuticals. During his longstanding career, he has focused on cancer immunology: the research of immunological mechanisms of cancer as well as the development of novel cell therapies and therapeutic vaccination strategies against tumors. In 1991, he became professor at the LUMC and since then his group has been working intensively to devise new cancer therapies based on the activation of the patient’s own immune system. Prior to that, he headed the immunology department at the Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI). He started his career at the blood bank in Amsterdam (CLB). Kees Melief is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of more than 450 peer-reviewed publications and inventor of more than 30 patents and patent applications.

“Kees Melief is an exceptional scientist who has inspired an entire generation of scientists“, says Prof. Dr. Christoph Huber, President of the Association for Cancer Immunotherapy CIMT, about the award committee’s decision. “For decades, Kees Melief has shaped European cancer immunotherapy like no other with his passionate scientific work. He founded European companies, established research networks, and inspired many young scientists to work in the field.“

“At ISA Pharmaceuticals, we are proud to have Kees receive this award in recognition of his lifetime contribution to translational cancer immunotherapy. We value him as our colleague, our friend and as our Chief Scientific Officer. As an organization we will continue to carry forward and translate his outstanding science into practical therapies,” said Ronald Loggers. “While we have already gained many insights into the mechanism of cancer development and strategies to fight the disease, bringing new and improved therapeutics to the patient remains an important goal for cancer researchers today and in the future. We are convinced that his work will contribute to the advancement of cancer therapy and pave the way for novel, targeted treatments.”




About ISA Pharmaceuticals

ISA Pharmaceuticals B.V. is an immunotherapy company developing rationally designed, fully synthetic immunotherapeutics against cancer and persistent viral infections. The company has built a proprietary immunotherapy platform based on the Synthetic Long Peptide (SLP®) concept and AMPLIVANT® technology, which have the potential to generate safe and effective immunologic responses with a known mechanism of action. Synthetic long peptides are broadly applicable to multiple targets and ideally suited for monotherapy, as essential components in combination with conventional cancer treatments, and with novel immunomodulators such as Nivolumab. SLP® immunotherapies are designed to fully harness and direct the body’s own defenses towards fighting the disease. In addition, ISA has begun to develop MyISA®, a personalized SLP® immunotherapy, targeting tumor-specific, mutation-derived neo-antigens. These SLP®s are based on the analysis of immunogenic DNA mutations in a tumor sample, and designed and synthesized for each individual patient.

ISA´s most advanced clinical-stage immunotherapeutic is ISA101, an SLP® immunotherapy targeting human papillomavirus (HPV)-induced diseases. It is currently in clinical development in advanced and recurrent cervical cancer, incurable HPV16-positive solid tumors (such as small cell carcinoma of head and neck SCCHN) and anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN). A clinical Phase II combination trial with ISA101 and Nivolumab is completed and will soon be reported by the MD Anderson Cancer Center in the US. Clinical proof-of-concept has been established in vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia (VIN), a pre-cancerous disease caused by HPV.

The company was founded in 2004 by Aglaia Oncology Fund and is based in Leiden, The Netherlands. For more information, please visit


SLP®, AMPLIVANT® and MyISA® are registered trademarks in Europe.


Contact & Media Inquiries:
Dr. Ludger Wess , Ines-Regina Buth
Managing Partners
Tel. +49 40 88 16 59 64, Tel. +49 30 23 63 27 68