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Cancer Research UK and immatics Biotechnologies to trial vaccine for brain cancer

by Cancer Research Technology (CRT) | News

16 February 2010

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Cancer Research UK and Cancer Research Technology – the charity’s development and commercialisation arm – have reached a collaboration agreement with immatics Biotechnologies to trial their new treatment vaccine, IMA950, for glioblastoma multiforme (GMB), one of the most common forms of brain cancer*.

IMA950 is the fifth treatment to enter Cancer Research UK’s Clinical Development Partnerships (CDP) scheme and the second one to be completed this year**. The CDP programme allows companies to retain the rights to their treatment while enabling the charity to take on its early development work to assess if there is a potential benefit to cancer patients. This is the first treatment vaccine to enter the CDP programme.

IMA950 contains 11 peptides linked to glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of glioma. These peptides encourage the T cells in the immune system to recognise cancer cells and destroy them. In a phase I clinical trial that will open in the next year, up to 45 patients who have been newly diagnosed with this form of glioma will receive a number of doses of the vaccine, alongside routine surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments.

The trial, will take place at four hospitals*** across the UK through Cancer Research UK’s Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre network and it will be managed by the charity’s Drug Development Office (DDO).

Under the terms of the partnership, Cancer Research UK will fund the trial.

immatics Biotechnologies will then have an option to further develop and commercialise the drug in exchange for future payments to the charity. If they elect not to, the rights will be given to CRT to secure an alternative partner.

Dr Ian Walker, licensing manager at CRT, said: “We’re delighted to have formed this agreement with immatics Biotechnologies. Following rigorous peer-review of the scientific data, Cancer Research UK’s scientific committee decided that the potential of the vaccine should be investigated further and we are very pleased that the company sought the expertise of the charity to develop a potential new treatment.”

Paul Higham, CEO of immatics said: “Cancer Research UK is a world-renowned cancer research organisation and we are delighted that through this collaboration we will be able to efficiently move our third therapeutic cancer vaccine into the clinic, highlighting the wide applicability and productivity of our technology platform.”

Professor Roy Rampling, who will lead the study at Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre at the University of Glasgow, said: “The clinical trial will aim to find out if this vaccine targets and stimulates the patient’s immune system to fight the cancer.

Although we’re still planning the trial and are not ready to recruit patients yet, it’s exciting to be working on a possible new way to treat glioma.”

Dr Victoria John, head of clinical partnerships at Cancer Research UK’s Drug Development Office, said: “We’re very pleased to be taking on the next stage of this vaccine’s development. This form of glioma is very difficult to treat successfully and we hope this trial will help to establish if the vaccine might offer another viable treatment option for people with this type of cancer.”


For media enquiries, please contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 7061 8300 or, out of hours, the duty press officer on 07050 264 059.