Immunicum just received FDA approval to start clinical trials in the US for a therapy that could overcome the challenges of T-cell therapies and target virtually any injectable solid tumor.
Immunicum is a biotech from Gothenburg, Sweden, that focuses on immuno-oncology with a different approach from most companies. Instead of T-cells, the company engineers dendritic cells, thus avoiding the high toxicity risks of T-cell therapies like CAR-T. Now, the FDA has cleared its Investigational New Drug (IND) application that allows the start of Phase II trials on American soil.
This trial is already treating and recruiting patients in Europe suffering from metastatic renal cell carcinoma. Worldwide, 273,000 people every year are diagnosed with this cancer affecting the kidney’s nephrons, for which no effective long-term treatments are available.
Immunicum’s unique treatment, Intuvax, consists of activated dendritic cells derived from healthy donors that are injected into the tumor. The trick is that once in the tumor, these cells can recruit the patient’s own immune system to respond against a whole set of each tumor’s neoantigens.