The goal of this Persomed joint venture (involving myNEO, QbD, Antleron, and VUB) is to develop a cost- and time-efficient personalised colon cancer vaccine that can be deployed on a large scale. The clinical validation of the myNEO platform, and its predited neoantigens, will mark an important milestone. Persomed focuses to further develop cell therapy and refine it into an effective, safe, affordable vaccine that can be made on a larger scale and in a standardised manner.
The analysis of the tumour will be performed for each patient separately by myNEO and the selected patient-specific epitopes will be formulated into a vaccine by the LMCT lab of the VUB. This will involve reprogramming the patient’s blood cells in the laboratory into powerful immune-activating dendritic cells that will then be administered back to the patient. The immune-activating dendritic cells – created on the basis of the individual genetic mutations – will in turn stimulate the immune system just like a vaccine does.
In addition, Persomed will put particular focus in further developing and refining dendritic cell therapy into an effective, safe and affordable vaccine produced via a standardised method for each individual patient. This is where the joint expertise of QbD and Antleron will be used to develop a scalable and cost-efficient manufacturing process. This will allow Persomed to expand this standardized vaccine manufacturing method towards use in other solid malignancies as well.
The ICON project shows a great drive for innovation and offers an important potential for curing cancer - Hilde Crevits, Flemish Minister for Innovation
The consortium has received a government VLAIO grant from minister Crevits of more than 2.1M€ and the goal is to have a fully operational vaccine by 2024.
The coming years, three important milestones will be reached:
- 2021: a proof-of-concept and phase 1 clinical study for at least eight patients
- 2022: we’ll conduct the therapy on a larger group of selected patients
- 2024: the colon cancer vaccine will be ready for applying for official broad use registration