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University of Liverpool To Use Touchlight’s Rapid Enzymatic dbDNA in Fully Personalised Neoantigen Cancer Vaccine Clinical

Double helix structure of DNA.
Credit: Touchlight.
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Touchlight, a CDMO enabling the development of genetic medicines with its enzymatic doggybone DNA (dbDNA™) technology, announced an agreement with University of Liverpool for the use of dbDNA in the development of a fully-personalised therapeutic neoantigen DNA vaccine for patients with non-small cell lung cancer, to be given to patients at Clatterbridge Cancer Center, Liverpool.

Non-small cell lung cancer is the most common type of lung cancer, with almost 50,000 new diagnoses each year. It is the third most prevalent cancer in the UK and, globally, it is estimated that there were 2.2million new cases in 2020 alone.

The University of Liverpool researchers will be conducting a clinical trial that involves making a personalised cancer vaccine for each patient. The approach is designed to train the patient’s own immune system by targeting mutations in patients’ individual cancer and support patients who have not had sufficient benefit from standard immunotherapy.

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Touchlight’s dbDNA technology produces a minimal, linear, double stranded, covalently closed DNA vector through an enzymatic manufacturing process.

dbDNA technology can deliver high purity GMP DNA in a small footprint at unprecedented speed and is ideally positioned to enable rapid individual personalised vaccines to cancer patients.

Prof. Christian Ottensmeier, Chief investigator and shared lead of the project of the study said: "We are delighted to work with Touchlight on developing this trial. The dbDNA approach offers a way to make vaccines very quickly, including for personalised treatments. We are very excited that we will be able to offer this clinical trial to patients with advanced lung cancer in Liverpool and expect that patients can be included starting in the 2nd half of 2024."

Prof. Natalia Savelyeva, joint lead of the study added: "This trials results from a long-standing collaboration between our team and Touchlight. The vaccine platform is completely novel and we believe has enormous promise in providing cancer vaccines that need to be made for each individual patient”.

Karen Fallen, CEO, Touchlight commented: “We are delighted to be able to support the Liverpool team in the development of such an innovative therapeutic approach. Christian and his team are world-leaders in cancer immunology, and we are proud that our dbDNA technology is able to provide an improved turnaround time for a patient group with extremely high unmet need.