Genocea has several pre-clinical and clinical infectious disease immunotherapy programs available for partnering.
GEN-004: Phase 2 immunotherapy against pneumococcus
GEN-004 is a novel T cell vaccine candidate developed from Genocea’s ATLAS technology. It is aimed at preventing colonization of the upper airway by all serotypes of pneumococcus. Pneumococcal infections are the leading cause of death in children under age five. Instead of preventing infections caused by only a small number of serotypes of pneumococcus as vaccines currently available on the market do, GEN-004 is designed to provide protection against each of the more than 90 serotypes of pneumococcus, thereby offering potentially universal protection against pneumococcal disease.
Genocea announced top-line results from a Phase 2 clinical trial for GEN-004 in 2015. GEN-004 showed a non-statistically significant trend toward consistent reductions versus placebo in the pre-specified endpoints of the rate and density of pneumococcal colonization. As this trial treated adults with presumed pre-existing immunity to pneumococcal infections, Genocea believes testing in toddlers and infants may demonstrate the efficacy of GEN-004 in preventing infections.
The pneumococcal program has been funded partially by PATH.
Chlamydia Program: multiple T cell targets identified
Infections by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis are a significant cause of morbidity worldwide. Chlamydia is the most common cause of bacterial sexually transmitted disease accounting for approximately 3 million new infections each year in the United States alone and more than 100 million new infections each year globally. Cellular immunity is believed to be critical for managing and potentially preventing infection from chlamydia.
Genocea’s ATLAS platform has been utilized to screen the T cell immune responses of hundreds of human subjects exposed to or infected with chlamydia. As a result, we have identified chlamydia antigen targets that elicit T cell responses preferentially in patients with positive clinical outcomes. These antigens, associated with an effective human immune response, could become the core of a therapeutic or prophylactic vaccine that could dramatically improve infection control and reduce the spread of disease worldwide.
The chlamydia program has been funded partially by the NIH.
Malaria Program: discovery research into T cell targets
Malaria is one of the deadliest infectious diseases in the world. In 2012, more than 600 million cases of malaria were reported by the World Health Organization (WHO), claiming over 600,000 lives, many of them children and largely in developing countries.
Upon infection, the parasite that causes malaria rapidly replicates in the liver. T cells in the liver could potentially kill the cells in which the parasite is hiding before the parasite is released into the bloodstream. Genocea’s T cell target discovery platform, ATLAS, has been applied to identify which components of the malaria parasite can act as T cell targets and become part of novel vaccine candidates.
The malaria program has been funded partially by the U.S. Department of Defense and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.