Hookipa Biotech AG announces the award of a fifth major grant from the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (Forschungs-Förderungs-Gesellschaft, FFG), the leading public funding agency for translational research in Austria.
A EUR 4.16 million grant has been awarded for the second year of a multi-year research and development project. The grant will be used to further substantiate the broad applicability of Hookipa’s arenaviral vector technologies for the development of innovative cancer immunotherapies and to progress the development of Hookipa’s lead oncology product HB201 for the treatment of HPV (human papilloma virus)-associated head and neck cancer.
HB201 is based on Hookipa’s highly potent arenavirus vector platform, stimulating both potent B-cell and CD8+ T-cell immune responses. HB201 is designed to raise immune responses against the E6 and E7 oncogenes of HPV, a known risk factor for head & neck squamous cell cancers1. By inducing strong and sustained cytotoxic T cells, HB201 aims at the eradication of HPV infected or transformed cells from the body. Unlike products based on other viral vectors, HB201 can be applied repeatedly in order to boost the immune system.
Joern Aldag, CEO of Hookipa commented, “After having successfully started a clinical phase 1 study for our Cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine candidate earlier this year, we are now actively working towards expanding the use of our technologies into the field of immuno-oncology. FFG´s steady support of this project will help us to accelerate development of urgently needed cancer therapies”.