The license covers the application of this technology to thedevelopment of therapeutics for all indications except breast cancer and ductalcarcinoma in situ. Financial terms ofthe agreement were not disclosed.
The licensed technology underlies ICT-107, IMUC's leadDC-based cancer vaccine candidate for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme.Developed by Dr. Brian J. Czerniecki, co-director of the university's RenaRowan Breast Cancer Center and surgical director of the immunotherapy programat the Abramson Cancer Center, the technology enables the development of DCsdesigned to trigger powerful and targeted immune responses to specific cancerantigens.
In the natural human immune system, DCs are responsible forcapturing, processing and presenting antigens to T-cells, which in turn targetthe antigens and destroy them. A key juncture in the process of immunity, theDC's conversion from antigen-capturing to antigen-presenting mode, known asmaturation, relies on the production of special messenger cells known ascytokines. Czerniecki's technology produces DCs that express very high levelsof the cytokines interleukin (IL) -12 and –IP-10, which have been shown to playa key role in initiating T-cell response.
"This licensing agreement represents an expansion of ourintellectual property surrounding the technology underlying our lead productcandidate, ICT-107," said Dr. Manish Singh, IMUC president and CEO, in astatement. "In addition to contributing to the powerful immune responses toICT-107 we have observed to date, this technology also enables the manufactureof multiple vaccine shots from a single production run, allowing us tosignificantly reduce the cost of manufacturing the vaccine. As we continueadvancing our ongoing Phase II trial in glioblastoma, we are confident thatwill continue to realize the benefits of the enhanced efficacy and efficiencyof this innovative dendritic-cell production method."
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics (OTC.BB: IMUC) is a LosAngeles-based clinical-stage company that is developing immune-based therapiesfor the treatment of brain and other cancers.