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Science

Better cancer immunotherapies for patients start
with better antigen selection

At Genocea, it is our mission to identify the right tumor targets to develop life-changing immunotherapies for people suffering from cancer. Our proprietary ATLAS™ platform comprehensively profiles each patient’s T cell responses to potential targets, or antigens, on that patient’s tumor.

In addition to our two clinical-stage oncology programs, GEN-009 and GEN-011, we are applying ATLAS to antigen discovery in multiple other disease settings.

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ATLAS
Inhibigens

Unique and proprietary antigen discovery platform

ATLAS™ is a unique bioassay that enables a superior, patient biology-driven approach to identify targets of protective T cell responses. ATLAS zeroes in on only those surface-presented antigens that trigger anti-tumor T cell responses. Learn more about how ATLAS works to improve immunotherapies below.

What is ATLAS?

Pushing Boundaries

How ATLAS Works

Click number for more information
1.
Samples taken
from patient

Tumor tissue biopsy
and blood samples

Tumor
mutation
sequence

2.
Next Generation
Sequencing identifies
tumor-specific
mutations
3.
Individual mutations
are cloned into
Genocea’s E. coli
libraries

Plasmid

E. coli express
tumor-specific
mutations

Dendritic
cells

4.
Patient's dendritic
cells take up and
present tumor
antigens to T cells
5.
ATLAS provides an
accurate readout of
the patient’s own
immune response

T cells

T cells produce
cytokines

6.
ATLAS is the only biological
assay that can identify
antigens to target or avoid -
taking the guesswork out of
personalized immunotherapy
Dendritic and T cells from blood sample are used to test the patient's immune response

Step 1.

Our proprietary ATLAS assay begins with the patient. We use tumor biopsy samples from each patient to ensure that the assay input includes the majority of unique tumor mutations. We also take a blood sample to collect immune cells.

Step 2.

We then use next generation sequencing (NGS) to identify tumor-specific mutations (potential neoantigens). We generate unique DNA plasmids encoding each candidate neoantigen.

Step 3.

These plasmids are then cloned into Genocea’s E. coli libraries. The bacteria individually express each candidate neoantigen for testing using the patient’s immune cells, isolated from the collected blood sample.

Step 4.

The patient’s specialized immune cells, antigen presenting cells, take up the bacteria expressing the tumor-specific mutation and bring the antigen pieces to the surface of the cell for presentation to the patient’s T cells.
These T cells are the immune cells responsible for recognizing and killing tumors.

Step 5.

ATLAS is a bioassay and not a machine learning prediction platform. Therefore, it provides accurate data indicative of each patient’s unique immune response against their own tumor mutations, taking the guesswork out of cancer immunotherapy development.

Step 6.

Our immunotherapies are rationally designed to stimulate potentially beneficial immune responses against each patient’s unique cancer, and only ATLAS can identify the correct antigens to target and the antigens to avoid. With our ATLAS bioassay, Genocea is pioneering a future of personalized treatments for patients everywhere because #TargetsMatter.
Click the ATLAS logo to learn more

How ATLAS Works

Click number for more information
1.
Samples taken
from patient

Tumor tissue biopsy
and blood samples

Tumor
mutation
sequence

2.
Next Generation
Sequencing identifies
tumor-specific
mutations
3.
Individual mutations
are cloned into
Genocea’s E. coli
libraries

Plasmid

E. coli express
tumor-specific
mutations

Dendritic and T cells are used to test the patient's immune response

Dendritic
cells

4.
Patient's dendritic
cells take up and
present tumor
antigens to T cells
5.
ATLAS provides an
accurate readout of
the patient’s own
immune response

T cells

T cells produce
cytokines

6.
ATLAS is the only biological
assay that can identify
antigens to target or avoid -
taking the guesswork out of
personalized immunotherapy
Dendritic and T cells are used to test the patient's immune response

How ATLAS Works

Click number for more information
1.
Samples taken
from patient

Tumor tissue biopsy
and blood samples

Tumor
mutation
sequence

2.
Next Generation
Sequencing identifies
tumor-specific
mutations
3.
Individual mutations
are cloned into
Genocea’s E. coli
libraries

Plasmid

E. coli express
tumor-specific
mutations

Dendritic
cells

4.
Patient's dendritic
cells take up and
present tumor
antigens to T cells
Dendritic and T cells are used to test
the patient's immune response
5.
ATLAS provides an
accurate readout of
the patient’s own
immune response

T cells

T cells produce
cytokines

6.
ATLAS is the only
biological assay that
can identify antigens to
target or avoid - taking
the guesswork out of personalized
immunotherapy

ATLAS antigen selection: our foundation

Foundation for effective immunotherapies
  • Included: Antigens relevant to both disease and patient immune system
  • Confirms antigens that are surface-presented and drive anti-tumor T cell responses

  • Excluded: Inhibigens, uniquely identified by ATLAS
  • CD4+ and CD8+ T cells responding to Inhibigens can promote tumor growth and compete with immunotherapy anti-tumor effects
Comprehensive
  • For any patient, any antigen type, any disease, and both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells
Scalable
  • ATLAS is a highly industrialized platform
Well-protected
  • Global patent families protect ATLAS into 2030s

Inhibigens™ – Identified Solely Through ATLAS

ATLAS is the only technology that can identify pro-tumor inhibitory antigens, or InhibigensTM, which subvert anti-tumor immune responses in the context of cancer immunotherapy. A growing body of foundational research led by the Genocea team has revealed the responses to Inhibigens enhance tumor growth and undermine otherwise effective immunotherapies.

What are Inhibigens™️?

Step 1.

Our proprietary ATLAS assay begins with the patient. We use tumor biopsy samples from each patient to ensure that the assay input includes the majority of unique tumor mutations. We also take a blood sample to collect immune cells.

Step 2.

We then use next generation sequencing (NGS) to identify tumor-specific mutations (potential neoantigens). We generate unique DNA plasmids encoding each candidate neoantigen.

Step 3.

These plasmids are then cloned into Genocea’s E. coli libraries. The bacteria individually express each candidate neoantigen for testing using the patient’s immune cells, isolated from the collected blood sample.

Step 4.

The patient’s specialized immune cells, antigen presenting cells, take up the bacteria expressing the tumor-specific mutation and bring the antigen pieces to the surface of the cell for presentation to the patient’s T cells.
These T cells are the immune cells responsible for recognizing and killing tumors.

Step 5.

ATLAS is a bioassay and not a machine learning prediction platform. Therefore, it provides accurate data indicative of each patient’s unique immune response against their own tumor mutations, taking the guesswork out of cancer immunotherapy development.

Step 6.

Our immunotherapies are rationally designed to stimulate potentially beneficial immune responses against each patient’s unique cancer, and only ATLAS can identify the correct antigens to target and the antigens to avoid. With our ATLAS bioassay, Genocea is pioneering a future of personalized treatments for patients everywhere because #TargetsMatter.
Click the ATLAS logo to learn more

How ATLAS Works

Click number for more information
1.
Samples taken
from patient

Tumor tissue biopsy
and blood samples

Tumor
mutation
sequence

2.
Next Generation
Sequencing identifies
tumor-specific
mutations
3.
Individual mutations
are cloned into
Genocea’s E. coli
libraries

Plasmid

E. coli express
tumor-specific
mutations

Dendritic and T cells are used to test the patient's immune response

Dendritic
cells

4.
Patient's dendritic
cells take up and
present tumor
antigens to T cells
5.
ATLAS provides an
accurate readout of
the patient’s own
immune response

T cells

T cells produce
cytokines

6.
ATLAS is the only biological
assay that can identify
antigens to target or avoid -
taking the guesswork out of
personalized immunotherapy
Dendritic and T cells are used to test the patient's immune response

How ATLAS Works

Click number for more information
1.
Samples taken
from patient

Tumor tissue biopsy
and blood samples

Tumor
mutation
sequence

2.
Next Generation
Sequencing identifies
tumor-specific
mutations
3.
Individual mutations
are cloned into
Genocea’s E. coli
libraries

Plasmid

E. coli express
tumor-specific
mutations

Dendritic
cells

4.
Patient's dendritic
cells take up and
present tumor
antigens to T cells
Dendritic and T cells are used to test
the patient's immune response
5.
ATLAS provides an
accurate readout of
the patient’s own
immune response

T cells

T cells produce
cytokines

6.
ATLAS is the only
biological assay that
can identify antigens to
target or avoid - taking
the guesswork out of personalized
immunotherapy

Posters, Presentations, Publications and Videos

All Resources
ATLAS
Inhibigens
GEN-009
GEN-011
Infectious Disease
2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
ATLAS drives Genocea’s emerging immunotherapy pipeline of clinical stage programs. Learn more about our ATLAS-driven pipeline.