Australian collaboration to produce cancer immunotherapy vaccines

A Brisbane based biomedical company, Tissue Therapies Limited (TIS) and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) have agreed on the terms of a new collaboration aimed at developing Tissue Therapies' VitroGro® cell growth technology as a platform to produce cancer immunotherapy vaccines.

Chairman, Mr Roger Clarke advised that TIS and QIMR have agreed on the terms of a formal collaboration for the validation and clinical evaluation of VitroGro® to produce and enhance cancer immunotherapy vaccines. The collaboration follows positive results from preliminary studies conducted by QIMR which indicate that VitroGro® improves the yield and quality of human dendritic cells in vitro.

The research, pre-clinical and clinical program at QIMR will be directed by Dr Chris Schmidt from the Cancer Immunotherapy laboratory and by Associate Professor Alejandro Lopez from the Dendritic Cell and Cancer therapy laboratory. The project management committee will also include Dr David Leavesley and Dr Zee Upton representing TIS.

QIMR has an international reputation in cancer research, with recent success in dendritic cell therapy in clinical trials for cancer immunotherapy. The QIMR cancer vaccine technology, currently in clinical trial stage, requires the manipulation and expansion in the laboratory of human dendritic cells before re-injection into the patient. The collaboration between TIS and QIMR aims to further optimise VitroGro® to increase the yield and quality of dendritic cells generated in vitro as a platform to produce cancer immunotherapy vaccines.

A long-term aim of the multi-stage collaboration is to enter VitroGro® into Phase 1 clinical trials to be conducted by QIMR in association with its cancer immunotherapy vaccines. The full extent of the collaboration would include a combination of basic laboratory investigations, validation studies, pre-clinical safety studies and Phase 1 clinical studies.

If successful, the commercial outcome of the collaboration would be a new platform for in vitro dendritic cell manufacture that may be suitable for cancer immunotherapy.

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