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Collaborative to Fund Lung Cancer Immunotherapy Clinical Trial

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Vaccitech has announced that its strategic collaboration with the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (Ludwig), Vaccitech Oncology Limited (VOLT), has entered into a clinical partnership with Cancer Research UK to develop VOLT’s VTP-600 immunotherapy as a treatment option for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

VTP-600 is a cancer immunotherapy comprised of Vaccitech’s proprietary heterologous prime-boost T cell induction platform; ChAdOx1 and Modified Vaccinia Ankara (MVA). The two viral vectors are engineered to express the tumor-associated antigens MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO-1, previously discovered and clinically validated by Ludwig. MAGE-A3 and NY-ESO-1 are aberrantly expressed by tumor cells and elicit strong immune responses. The VTP-600 therapeutic vaccine is administered intramuscularly and designed to stimulate the immune system to produce sustained cytotoxic CD8+ T cells specific for cancers that highly express the antigens, which include NSCLC.

To maximize therapeutic benefit, VTP-600 can be administered selectively to patients whose tumors express MAGE-A3 alone, and those which also express NY-ESO-1. This novel design may help boost an optimal, highly specific, anti-tumor immune response to destroy cancer cells.

Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development (CDD) will sponsor and manage a Phase I/IIa clinical trial of VTP-600 in combination with current standard of care and first-line treatment (chemotherapy and anti-PD-1) in approximately 80 patients with NSCLC.

The trial is anticipated to begin in Q4 2020 across multiple clinical sites in the UK. VOLT holds an option to license the results of the trial in order to undertake further clinical development and commercialization of VTP-600.