Immutep and Lonza have announced an agreement for cell line selection, master cell banking and process development of ImmuFact® IMP321.
Lonza will initiate the process development for Immutep’s lead product, using Immutep's newly-developed proprietary cell lines.
Immutep announced Phase I/II results for IMP321 in an oral presentation at ASCO (American Society of Clinical Oncology conference) in 2010 describing its use in a chemo-immunotherapy protocol in first-line metastatic breast cancer.
“We are pleased to support Immutep’s development initiatives,” said Janet White, head of Lonza development services.
White continued, “This partnership directly reflects Lonza’s commitment to emerging biotechnology innovation through its clinical milestones.”
IMP321 (LAG-3Ig) has potential for the treatment of advanced cancer in combination with standard first-line chemotherapy.
IMP321 is an antigen presenting cell (APC) activator. Tumour-specific memory CD8 T cells are activated by these APC and contribute to tumour regression.
“We have every confidence in Lonza to carry out the production for pivotal trials and beyond,” said Dr. Frederic Triebel, scientific and medical director of Immutep.
Dr. Triebel continued, “The mechanism of action of this synergistic combination of chemotherapy and active immunotherapy is very simple. The chemotherapy provides a burst of tumour cell debris and the surrounding APC take up the tumour antigens. IMP321 activates these APC resulting in a long-lasting CD8 T cell response against the tumour. We think that the combination of first-line standard chemotherapy plus IMP321 should be tested in several first-line indications. We are in partnering discussions at present.”