​Argos taps Adaptive for help characterizing immune responses to its drugs

Argos Therapeutics ($ARGS) has turned to Adaptive Biotechnologies for help with understanding the immune responses triggered by its pipeline of experimental immunotherapies. The collaboration will make use of the bioinformatic capabilities Adaptive has built up using the $400 million in VC funding it has attracted over the past few years.

Durham, N.C.-based Argos is keen to apply Adaptive’s immune profiling capabilities to clinical-phase immunotherapies AGS-003 and AGS-004, which are in development as treatments for cancers and HIV, respectively. The idea behind both products is to use antigens and immune cells specific to each patient to create a product designed to kickstart their body’s immune response against the disease. But the approach has hit some potholes, including a Phase IIb miss for AGS-004.

Working with Adaptive could give Argos data of relevance to its development programs. The plan is for Adaptive to use its immune profiling immunoSEQ assay and accompanying bioinformatics tools to characterize the immune response that follows administration of AGS-003. In the case of AGS-004, Argos is hoping working with Adaptive will give it a more detailed picture of “the transfer of specific genetic signatures from each patient’s HIV, through AGS-004, to a specific immune response against each patient’s unique virus population,” the company said.

Having built a platform designed to identify T- and B-cell receptors, Adaptive is well placed to help out with these tasks. “Adaptive is our preferred partner because of their established expertise in offering high-throughput immune receptor repertoire characterization and advanced bioinformatics that are ideally suited to analyze precision of target-specific immune activation,” Argos CSO Charles Nicolette said in a statement.

Argos joins Pfizer ($PFE) on Adaptive’s list of publicly-disclosed clients. Pfizer signed up to work with the company in January. That agreement is skewed toward clinical trial enrollment, with Pfizer looking to leverage Adaptive’s immunosequencing platform to identify patients who are most likely to benefit from its pipeline of immuno-oncology drugs.

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