CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Genocea Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNCA), a biopharmaceutical company developing T cell-directed vaccines and immunotherapies, today announced a collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to screen the T cell responses of melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer patients treated with checkpoint inhibitors (CPI) against the complete repertoire of patient-specific putative cancer neoantigens.
The goals of the collaboration are to identify signatures of T cell response in cancer patients associated with response or non-response to CPI therapy and to discover new T cell cancer vaccine antigens. ATLAS will be used in conjunction with Memorial Sloan Kettering's patient-specific cancer neoantigen sequences and blood samples from the same cancer patients. This new collaborative work will be led by investigators Timothy A. Chan, M.D., Ph.D., Vice Chair, Department of Radiation Oncology, and Jedd D. Wolchok, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service, Department of Medicine and Ludwig Center.
"ATLAS is unique in that it makes no assumptions about which cancer antigens are meaningful and which are not. It instead takes a panoramic view of all the mutations that may yield novel targets and reveals clinically relevant T cell antigens that associate with protective immunity," said Jessica Baker Flechtner, Ph.D., senior vice president of research at Genocea. "We believe that ATLAS is a powerful platform that enables the identification of T cell responses that must be present to see an effective response to therapy. This can ultimately lead to the discovery of T cell antigens that may drive cancer vaccine development."
ATLAS is a first of its kind proprietary rapid antigen identification screening system that finds targets of protective T cell responses. The technology solves challenges to date associated with finding targets of T cell responses. ATLAS can examine T cell responses from large, diverse human populations, and comprehensively screen every potential antigen from a pathogen or target indication in a rapid, high throughput manner, taking weeks versus years to find relevant antigens. Because targets identified by ATLAS are based on actual human immune responses to all potential antigens, with no guesswork or predictions, by the time these candidates reach clinical trials there may be a greater likelihood of success in clinical development. This approach provides the ability to identify smarter targets for use in developing vaccines and immunotherapies to treat infectious disease, cancer and autoimmunity.
Genocea is harnessing the power of T cell immunity to develop life-changing vaccines and immunotherapies. T cells are increasingly recognized as a critical element of protective immune responses to a wide range of diseases, but traditional discovery methods have proven unable to identify the targets of such protective immunity. Using ATLAS, its proprietary technology platform, Genocea identifies these targets to potentially enable the rapid development of medicines to address critical patient needs. Genocea's pipeline of novel clinical stage T cell-enabled product candidates includes GEN-003 for genital herpes, GEN-004 for the prevention of infection by all serotypes of pneumococcus, and earlier-stage programs in chlamydia, genital herpes prophylaxis, malaria and cancer immunotherapy. For more information, please visit the company's website atwww.genocea.com.
Statements herein relating to future business performance, conditions or strategies and other financial and business matters, including expectations regarding clinical developments, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. Genocea cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, which change over time. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements or historical experience include risks and uncertainties, including Genocea's ability to progress any product candidates in preclinical or clinical trials; the ability of ATLAS to identify promising product candidates in oncology; the scope, rate and progress of its preclinical studies and clinical trials and other research and development activities; anticipated clinical trial results; current results may not be predictive of future results; even if the data from preclinical studies or clinical trials is positive, regulatory authorities may require additional studies for approval and the product may not prove to be safe and efficacious; Genocea's ability to enter into future collaborations with industry partners and the government and the terms, timing and success of any such collaboration; risks associated with the manufacture and supply of clinical and commercial product; the cost of filing, prosecuting, defending and enforcing any patent claims and other intellectual property rights; Genocea's ability to obtain rights to technology; competition for clinical resources and patient enrollment from drug candidates in development by other companies with greater resources and visibility; the rate of cash utilized by Genocea in its business and the period for which existing cash will be able to fund such operation; Genocea's ability to obtain adequate financing in the future through product licensing, co-promotional arrangements, public or private equity or debt financing or otherwise; general business conditions; competition; business abilities and judgment of personnel; the availability of qualified personnel and other factors set forth under "Risk Factors" in Genocea's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014 and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Further information on the factors and risks that could affect Genocea's business, financial conditions and results of operations is contained in Genocea's filings with the SEC, which are available at www.sec.gov. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and Genocea assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements.