ROCKVILLE, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI), a privately held, Maryland-based biotechnology company, is pleased to welcome Drew Pardoll, MD, Ph.D., Director of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, as a new oncology advisor to Immunomic Therapeutics’ scientific advisory board. The company is currently pursuing application of their investigational LAMP-Vax™ platform in immuno-oncology.
Dr. Pardoll is a world-renowned cancer researcher in the field of immuno-oncology. With over 300 papers and 20 book chapters on the subjects of T cell immunology and cancer vaccines, he is a recognized expert in the field of immunology. Among his many successes, he identified three immune cell types (Gamma-Delta T cells, NKT cells and Innate killer dendritic cells), discovered PD-L2, described the role of LAG-3 in regulatory T cells and its related effect on CD8+ effector function, and has led the development of multiple cell-based and antigen specific vaccines. Notably, he served as a co-investigator on the initial clinical trials at Johns Hopkins that introduced anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 antibodies for the treatment of cancer patients, marking a momentous step forward in immunotherapy for oncology.
Through his work on the Scientific Advisory Board for Immunomic Therapeutics, Dr. Pardoll will advise on scientific and technical matters relating to the research and development of the LAMP-Vax platform, bolstering the Company’s focus on immuno-oncology.
“Immunomic is delighted to welcome Dr. Pardoll to our scientific advisory board,” said Bill Hearl, Ph.D., Immunomic Founder and CEO. “His deep expertise and vision in the immuno-oncology space will be a great asset to ITI as we continue to explore applications of our LAMP technology in oncology.”
In the 1990s, at Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Pardoll was part of the foundational work that led to the application of LAMP technology. He worked with Dr. Thomas August on lysosomal associated membrane protein (LAMP) and its application as a targeting sequence in nucleic acid vaccination. Several of his early publications on LAMP laid the groundwork of what would become the basis for the patent titled, “Lysosomal Targeting of Immunogens,” forming the foundation for ITI’s LAMP-Vax platform. Although LAMP-Vax has a rich publication history in several application areas, including oncology and infectious disease, Immunomic Therapeutics initially focused on applying it to allergy immunotherapy. This ultimately resulted in a $300 million license deal for allergy in humans to Astellas Pharma, Inc. Following the Astellas transaction, the Company turned its attention back to one of the early scientific focuses for LAMP – using it as a cancer vaccine. ITI is now applying the LAMP-Vax Technology to one of the most exciting new fields of cancer therapy.
The Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy is intended to focus on advancing the science and clinical impact of cancer immunology, with the goal of reducing cancer mortality by 50% in the next 10 years. The Institute supports cancer immunology research across many cancer types, including melanoma, colon, pancreatic, urologic, lung, breast and ovarian cancers. Dr. Pardoll serves as the Director of the Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and Co-Director of the Cancer Immunology Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. In these roles, he is leading the pursuit of discoveries that are making it possible to trigger the immune system’s natural cancer-fighting abilities.
Dr. Pardoll is also appointed as the Abeloff Professor of Oncology, Medicine, Pathology and Molecular Biology and Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. Complementing his academic pursuits, he founded Jounce Therapeutics, Inc. in 2012, is the Scientific Founder and Board Observer at Amplimmune, Inc., chairs the scientific advisory board of Aduro BioTech, Inc., and serves as a Director of DNAtrix, Inc.
Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc. (ITI) is a privately-held clinical stage biotechnology company pioneering the study of the LAMP-based nucleic acid immunotherapy platforms. These investigational technologies have the potential to alter how we use immunotherapy for cancer, allergies and animal health. On the heels of two landmark deals in 2015, including an exclusive worldwide license with Astellas Pharma Inc. to explore the use of LAMP-Vax for use in the prevention and treatment of allergic diseases which resulted in over $350M in licensing revenue that year, the company has now focused on the application of LAMP technology in oncology. For information about ITI and LAMP Technology, visit www.immunomix.com.
ITI’s investigational LAMP-Vax platform is thought to work by encoding the Lysosomal Associated Membrane Protein, an endogenous protein in humans. In this way, ITI’s vaccines (DNA or RNA) have the potential to utilize the body’s natural biochemistry to develop a broad immune response including antibody production, cytokine release and critical immunological memory. This approach could put LAMP-Vax technology at the crossroads of immunotherapies in a number of illnesses, including cancer, allergy and infectious diseases. LAMP is currently being employed in Phase II clinical trials as a cancer immunotherapy. ITI is also collaborating with academic centers and biotechnology companies to study the use of LAMP in cancer types of high mortality, including cases where there are limited treatment options like glioblastoma and acute myeloid leukemia. ITI believes that these early clinical studies may provide a proof of concept for LAMP-Vax therapy in cancer, and if successful, set the stage for future studies, including combinations in these tumor types and others. Preclinical data is currently being developed to explore whether LAMP nucleic acid constructs may amplify and activate the immune response in highly immunogenic tumor types and be used to create immune responses to tumor types that otherwise do not provoke an immune response.
Immunomic Therapeutics, Inc.
Sia Anagnostou, 717-327-1822