MyISA® – personalized immunotherapy based on neoantigens

It is known today that concentrated antigen sources, such as synthetic long peptides, can sufficiently raise robust CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses to eradicate cancer. In the case of virus-induced cancers, this can be accomplished by selecting virus-induced antigens for the SLP®s. However, in non-viral cancers many antigens are shared by tumor cells and normal cells, albeit with different levels of expression, so that for optimum immunotherapy results it is necessary to choose antigens that are unique to each cancer.

A co-authored publication in Nature (Gubin et al. Nov. 2014) showed that synthetic long peptides (SLP®s) in mice are capable of effectively mounting a T cell-mediated immune response against mutation-derived neo-antigens, resulting in survival benefit.

In contrast to shared antigens, e.g. in virus-induced cancers, neo-antigens are specific to each individual patient due to the accumulation of random mutations of DNA from carcinogens, UV light, or other causes. This requires an individual and personalized set of SLP®s for each patient.

Building on the vast amount of experience and know-how in inducing potent T cell responses and on leveraging recent technological advancements in next-generation genome sequencing and state-of-the-art peptide synthesis, ISA has begun the development of on-demand, personalized SLP® immunotherapies.

These treatments will open a perspective for large and difficult-to-treat cancer indications, such as lung cancer, bladder cancer and melanomas, to be addressed effectively and at an acceptable cost.