RATIONALE OF LAMP-VAX APPLICATIONS IN CANCER
There have been tremendous advances in approaches that harness the body’s own immune system to recognize and eliminate cancers. Currently approved approaches have focused on “checkpoint inhibitors” that interfere with the tumor’s ability to escape immune surveillance. Despite these advances, approved uses are limited to a tumor types, including advanced melanoma and lung cancer.
We believe that LAMP-based nucleic acid immunotherapies have the potential to broaden the current use of cancer immunotherapy by complementing approved and investigational approaches. Preclinical data suggest that LAMP-based nucleic acid immunotherapy has potential as a cancer immunotherapy in two distinct ways:
- Activation of the immune system against highly immunogenic tumor types, potentially amplifying the response seen with checkpoint inhibitors.
- Creation of a new, robust immune response to tumor types that do not otherwise provoke an immune reaction, by reconfiguring a critical component of our immune system.
LAMP containing constructs have the potential to reprogram the immune system and activate the CD4-positive T-cell, the most critical component of how the immune system fights cancer.
Versions of LAMP have been studied clinically in academic centers, and we are currently collaborating with them to explore the use of single-agent LAMP containing constructs in cancer types of high mortality. This is critical in cases where there are limited treatment options like glioblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia. We believe that these early clinical studies will provide proof of concept of LAMP-Vax in cancer and will set the stage for combination studies in these tumor types and others.
ITI is collaborating with Dr. Duane Mitchell at the University of Florida on a Phase II proof of concept study of a LAMP-based mRNA dendritic cell vaccine in previously treated glioblastoma.
Because of the requirement for CD4 Th cells for effective TCM generation and the absence of CD4 activation in most DNA/mRNA vaccination strategies, LAMP-Vax has promising potential and is currently being positioned as a broadly applicable immunotherapy platform to induce CD4 and CD8 effector and memory cells. This strategy is believed to have with particular utility in certain types of cancer.