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London Genetics and Astrimmune collaborate on cancer vaccine

London Genetics Limited and Astrimmune have entered into a collaboration to plan a biomarker identification programme for Astrimmune's early-stage pancreatic cancer vaccine candidate.

The vaccine candidate induces the production of antibodies against gastrin, a hormone that is known to stimulate the growth of many types of gastrointestinal cancer. The plan will be used in applications for further funding of its development.

Because differential response rates have been observed in clinical trials of other gastrin-blocking products, there is a clear need for biomarkers to help identify those patients most likely to benefit from the product. For example, there is a possibility that the variable response rates might have been caused, in part, by the inclusion of some patients with gastrin-insensitive tumours, or those not able to respond immunologically.

Under the terms of the collaboration, London Genetics and Astrimmune will put together a proposal for the identification of biomarkers predictive of clinical response. London Genetics' seven academic partners, which have an annual research budget of over £650 million, are able to provide expertise in areas such as tumour biopsy samples and animal models, as well as expertise in the genetics of immune responses to cancer vaccines.

Fred Jacobs, Managing Director of Astrimmune, commented: 'Pancreatic cancer is an area of serious unmet medical need, with a five-year survival rate of around 5% and few treatment options. Availability of a biomarker to select those patients mostly likely to benefit from Astrimmune's vaccine candidate can be expected to expedite the development of this product and increase its chances of coming to market in the future.

‘London Genetics is an expert in this area and Astrimmune is delighted to be working with the company on this important part of the project development.'

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Companies and People  •  Pharmacology/ Therapeutics


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