NEC OncoImmunity Acquires Neoantigen Vaccine Development Assets of VAXIMM
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Posted on Tuesday, 08 March 2022 09:43
- VAXIMM technology enables the rapid generation and delivery of personalized T-cell cancer vaccines and can overcome key challenges faced by the neoantigen field
- NEC OncoImmunity will launch the first clinical trial with a flagship program since its acquisition in 2022
OSLO, Norway I TOKYO, Japan, BASEL, Switzerland and MANNHEIM, Germany I March 8, 2022 I NEC OncoImmunity (NOI), a subsidiary of NEC Corporation (NEC), and VAXIMM AG, a Swiss/German biotechnology company focused on the development of ready-to-use oral DNA vaccine technology to stimulate cytotoxic T cells of patients targeting a wide range of cancer-related antigens, today announced that the companies have signed an agreement under which NOI will acquire all of the assets of VAXIMM’s neoantigen program.
Under the agreement, NOI will acquire patents related to VAXIMM’s neoantigen vaccine, license required manufacturing patents, and take over several existing contracts with key collaborators and partners. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. In 2019, the companies entered into a strategic clinical trial collaboration and equity investment agreement to develop novel personalized neoantigen cancer vaccines. VAXIMM retains the rights to its first-in-class oral T cell activation platform technology and all other product candidates, including VXM01, which is in development for the treatment of glioblastoma.
Commenting on the ad, Richard Stratford, CEO of NOI, said, “We believe this is a transformative transaction for NOI/NEC. With it, NOI/NEC acquired the rights to an attractive delivery platform with broad therapeutic potential in oncology and other fields. Following this acquisition, we plan to launch the first clinical study delivering personalized neoantigens in 2022, which is an important milestone. Our unique Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology focuses on several attractive areas of unmet medical need with major market potential, and we now have the components in place to fully realize this significant business opportunity.
Thomas D. Szucs, MD, Chairman of the Board of VAXIMM, said, “I am delighted to see the progress that has been made in advancing our neoantigen program, already with the strong support of NEC as a partner and investor. I congratulate the VAXIMM team, under the leadership of Dr. Lubenau, for bringing this important project to the clinical trial stage. We are thrilled that the NOI team is now moving this program forward in the clinic with the goal of bringing new therapy to patients who are in desperate need of more treatment options.
Dr. Heinz Lubenau, CEO and co-founder of VAXIMM, said, “We believe that NEC OncoImmunity is the ideal company to lead the development of VAXIMM’s new neoantigen programs and hopefully commercialize them to help patients. The first project from our prior collaboration using NEC’s AI platform has received clinical trial approval in Europe, and we are delighted that NEC is putting its resources behind this and future derived neoantigen vaccine programs. of the new VAXIMM technology.
Motoo Nishihara, Executive Vice President, CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and Board Member, NEC Corporation, said: “Cancer and infectious diseases are two of the most serious health problems, with millions of new cases diagnosed each year worldwide. NEC’s core AI technology is well positioned for personalized medicine development, and we are strongly committed to delivering effective treatments to cancer and infectious disease patients. We are confident that this acquisition of assets from VAXIMM will enable us to further develop our personalized and AI-powered therapies to benefit the health of patients worldwide.
The transaction expands NEC’s neoantigen drug development pipeline by broadening its focus to several compelling therapeutic areas with high unmet medical needs. VAXIMM’s ready-to-use DNA vaccine technology is based on a live attenuated, safe and orally available bacterial vaccine strain, which is modified to stimulate patients’ cytotoxic T cells to target a wide range of antigens. linked to cancer. The platform enables rapid and scalable manufacturing of personalized T-cell cancer vaccines and can overcome major challenges faced by many other approaches.
VAXIMM is a private Swiss/German biotechnology company developing oral T-cell immunotherapies for cancer patients. VAXIMM’s ready-to-use DNA vaccine technology is based on a live attenuated, safe and orally available bacterial vaccine strain, which is modified to stimulate patients’ cytotoxic T cells to target a wide range of antigens. linked to cancer. The Company has a pipeline of complementary development candidates targeting different tumor structures. The lead product candidate, oral VXM01, activates killer cells targeting tumor-specific vasculature and certain immunosuppressive cells, thereby increasing immune cell infiltration in solid tumors. VXM01 is currently in clinical development for several tumor types, including brain cancer. VAXIMM recently licensed the assets of its neoantigen program to NEC OncoImmunity, a subsidiary of NEC Corporation. VAXIMM’s platform enables rapid manufacturing of personalized T-cell cancer vaccines and can overcome key issues faced by other neoantigen approaches. VAXIMM has entered into a collaboration agreement with China Medical System Holdings (CMS), granting CMS full rights in China and other Asian countries (except Japan) to VAXIMM’s existing programs.
VAXIMM investors include: BB Biotech Ventures, BCM Europe, BioMedPartners, CMS, M Ventures, NEC and CSV as well as Sunstone Life Science Ventures. VAXIMM AG is headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. Its wholly owned subsidiary, VAXIMM GmbH, located in Mannheim, Germany, is responsible for the Company’s development activities. For more information, please visit www.vaximm.com and follow us on LinkedIn.
About NEC Corporation
NEC Corporation has established itself as a leader in the integration of computing and networking technologies while promoting the brand statement “Orchestrating a Brighter World”. NEC enables businesses and communities to adapt to the rapid changes occurring both in society and in the marketplace, as it provides the social values of safety, security, fairness and efficiency to promote a more sustainable world where everyone has the chance to reach their full potential. For more information, visit NEC at http://www.nec.com.
About NEC OncoImmunity AS
NEC OncoImmunity AS is an AI-driven biotech company that has developed proprietary machine learning-based software that fills key knowledge gaps in the prediction of authentic immunogenic neoantigens for personalized immunotherapy against cancer, in addition to vaccines against infectious diseases. AI technology can be used to identify optimal neoantigen targets for truly personalized cancer vaccines and cell therapies in a clinically actionable timeframe, and also facilitate efficient patient selection for cancer immunotherapy. For more information, visit NEC OncoImmunity AS at http://www.oncoimmunity.com/.
About NEC’s AI Drug Development Business
For more information, please visit https://www.nec.com/en/global/solutions/ai-drug/
About the NEC Neoantigen Prediction System
NEC’s neoantigen prediction system uses its proprietary AI, such as graph-based relational learning, trained on multiple biological data sources to discover candidate neoantigen targets. These targets are carefully analyzed using proprietary machine learning algorithms that include HLA binding and internal antigen presentation AI tools to assess the likelihood of triggering a robust and clinically relevant T cell response. With NEC OncoImmunity now integrated, NEC continues to strengthen its world-class neoantigen prediction pipelines with the goal of maximizing the therapeutic benefits of personalized cancer immunotherapy for patients worldwide. For more information, visit NEC at www.nec.com.
THE SOURCE: VAXIM