Personalized Cancer Vaccines
New therapies that exploit a patient’s immune system to seek and destroy tumors are revolutionizing the way we think about and treat cancer. Immune checkpoint therapies, for instance, which broadly activate T cells to attack cancer, have demonstrated remarkable and durable activity in some patients, however, we believe too many patients receiving these treatments experience no clinical benefit or see their cancer return.
The profound benefit and sometimes extreme toxicity that accompanies the broad T cell activation seen with immune checkpoint therapies has taught us that the critical next step in immune-mediated cancer treatment is leveraging innovative technology to direct T cells to specific, impactful targets at the site of the tumor.
Genocea’s proprietary ATLASTM technology uses a cellular assay to comprehensively re-create a patient’s actual immune response to cancer. This means ATLAS identifies – not just predicts - antigens to which patients are responding, and can distinguish between those that stimulate productive T cell responses (CD4+ and CD8+ T cells) and those that are irrelevant or may actually inhibit response. With this information, we can uniquely discern the clinically meaningful T cell antigen targets that may identify which patients will benefit from treatment with cancer immunotherapies and drive the development of more effective cancer vaccines and immunotherapies.
GEN-009 – Personalized Neoantigen Cancer Vaccine Program
Genocea’s lead program, GEN-009, focuses on the development of personalized cancer vaccines by using ATLAS to identify patient neoantigens, or newly formed antigens that are often found in tumor cells but that have not been previously recognized by the immune system. These cancer vaccines are being designed to educate T cells to recognize and attack specific targets and thereby kill cancers.
Once the right neoantigens have been identified in a patient, we formulate a personalized vaccine, composed of synthetic long peptides paired with an adjuvant, which is then shipped to the clinical site.
We expect to begin clinical development of GEN-009 in the second half of 2018, and anticipate the first immunogenicity data (proof of immune response) in the first half of 2019.
GEN-010 is our follow-on program to GEN-009 and aims to create next-generation vaccines with potential improvements in delivery, needle to needle time, and cost of goods.Cancer Vaccine Publications