Ascend, 3M team for cancer vaccine research

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 09 December, 2013

Ascend Biopharmaceuticals has signed a deal with 3M subsidiary 3M Drug Delivery Systems to collaborate on the development of a potential new cancer vaccine.

Ascend has arranged to evaluate 3M’s Toll-Like Receptor 7/8 (TLR7/8) agonist 3M-051 by chemically conjugating it with Ascend’s ASN platform.

ASN is an antigen-presenting, cell-targeting and delivery technology that allows vaccine antigens and immune modulators to be selectively targeted to specialised antigen presenting cells.

Under the agreement, 3M will provide GLP and GMP material for preclinical and clinical studies into the potency of 3M-051 conjugated with Ascend’s ASN platform. The preclinical immunogenicity trials will last up to 12 months.

Ascend CEO Dr Clement Leong said the company is embarking on the evaluation based on research suggesting its ASN platform can allow the generation of a strong cytotoxic CD8+ T cell response to a vaccine antigen in addition to a strong antibody response.

“Our research has demonstrated encouraging clinical and immunological responses and we believe the chemical conjugation of a potent TLR agonist could confer further improvements to the previously observed clinical responses,” he said.

Ascend is preparing to enter clinical trials for two cancer vaccine candidates, with an initial focus on breast cancer and basal cell carcinoma respectively.

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