GAITHERSBURG, Md., Oct. 17, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NexImmune and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) have entered a partnership to advance the Company’s novel cellular immunotherapy into Phase 1 clinical testing for patients with high risk AML who have relapsed after an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT).
NexImmune is advancing immunotherapy products based on the Company’s proprietary Artificial Immune Modulatory (AIM) nanotechnology platform. The AIM technology enables simultaneous enrichment, expansion and activation of cytotoxic T cells directed at multiple tumor-relevant antigen targets (Tumor Associated Antigens or neo-antigens) across a broad range of both solid and hematologic malignancies.
The Company’s lead product candidate, AIM ACT, is designed to generate T cells targeted against multiple tumor antigens associated with AML. The Company has completed Pre-IND discussions with the FDA, and expects to submit an IND in 1HQ2018.
“Regrettably, AML patients who relapse after an allogeneic stem cell transplant face a very poor prognosis - as few as 1 in 10 will survive their first year after disease relapse. And unfortunately, there are no approved treatment options available in this setting,” said Scott Carmer, President and COO of NexImmune. “We are very excited to partner with the LLS as we make our AIM ACT therapy available to a patient population with such significant unmet need”.
The antigen-specific T cells in AIM ACT are generated using nanoparticle-sized artificial Antigen Presenting Cells (aAPCs). The aAPCs bypass the antigen processing and presentation role of natural dendritic cells and engage directly with antigen-specific T cell receptors (TCRs) on endogenous naïve and memory T cells. The approach is designed to combine a robust effector response with the generation of long-term immunologic memory.
The partnership is through LLS's Therapy Acceleration Program® (TAP), through which LLS forges collaborations with early stage biotechnology companies to help bring innovative therapies to patients faster. LLS has made an undisclosed investment in NexImmune to help support the overall clinical development of the product.
“As an Immunotherapy for AML, cytotoxic T cells that are specific to multiple tumor associated antigens represent a very promising approach to this very difficult-to-treat population. Antigen specificity is not only important to killing leukemic blasts and leukemic stem cells, but it is also important for the prevention of therapy-related Graft Versus Host Disease. We are excited to partner with NexImmune to bring this cellular immunotherapy into Phase 1 clinical trials,” said Lee Greenberger, PhD, LLS’s Chief Scientific Officer.
NexImmune is an early stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel immuno-therapeutics based on the proprietary Artificial Immune Modulation (AIM™) nanotechnology platform. Central to the AIM™ technology are artificial Antigen Presenting Cells (aAPC) that can be engineered to orchestrate a highly targeted immune attack directed toward specific foreign substances or cell types in the body. In preclinical studies, aAPCs have demonstrated potential utility as both injectable and cellular therapeutic agents. NexImmune is using the AIM technology platform to develop a pipeline of products to treat cancer. For more information visit: www.neximmune.com
About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (R) (LLS) is the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.
Chad Rubin, 646.319.3261