Likang gets trial ok for China’s first personalized cancer vaccine 

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vaccine cancer vaccination

Likang Life Sciences has received implied approval for the clinical trial of its personalized neoantigen-targeted vaccine for advanced solid tumors, LK101 injection. 

This is the first personalized neoantigen vaccine and mRNA editing product approved by China’s Center for Drug Evaluation (CDE) of the National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) to enter the clinical stage.

Likang submitted an IND application for LK101 Injection to the NMPA in December 2022. Its LK101 injection is the first cancer vaccine candidate developed by Likang. It is a personalized neoantigen-targeted cancer vaccine and also a dendritic cell (DC)-based mRNA vaccine.

It combines the advantages of mRNA technology and DC by transducing mRNA encoding personalized tumor antigen targets based on dozens of patient-specific tumor mutations information into dendritic cells.

Likang mRNA technology

The mRNA editing technology is a convenient method that can encode multiple antigens at once while maintaining rapid, efficient expression, making it suitable for the development of personalized cancer treatments. DCs, which are highly specialized and strong antigen-presenting cells in the human immune system, have been utilized in the development of tumor vaccines. 

DC vaccines have demonstrated high safety and good tolerance, effectively activating tumor-specific T cells and establishing immunological memory, resulting in long-term anti-cancer effects. 

The combination of an mRNA vaccine and DC vaccine provides a potential breakthrough in the field of personalized neoantigen treatment, which the company said offers an effective and safe approach for patients to fight against cancer.

In 2018, Likang collaborated with the Chinese PLA General Hospital to conduct an investigator-initiated clinical trial of its LK101 injection for postoperative liver cancer patients. The data showed that LK101 has good safety and tolerance, with no grade I or higher drug-related adverse reactions reported. Activation of anti-tumor neoantigen immune response was detected in all patients, and showed significant advantages in terms of postoperative recurrence rate and survival rate, the company announced.

About Likang Life Sciences

Likang Life Sciences is a Chinese company dedicated to development of immune cell therapy, with tumor-specific neoantigen as the target, founded in 2017. 

The company has established multiple platforms, including the LNEA platform, high-throughput antigen/TCR screening platform (HATSP), in vitro-transcribed (IVT)  mRNA technology platform, and large-scale automatic and totally closed cell drug production platform. 

Currently, Likang is fully deploying multiple pipelines with a focus on precision tumor immunotherapy, including tumor neoantigen analysis diagnostic, neoantigen tumor vaccines, and T-cell therapies.

Other vaccines

Several companies around the world are working on cancer vaccines. Recently, the Cleveland Clinic announced its breast cancer vaccine study was moving forward. At the beginning of 2023, ErVaccine raised €4.5 million ($4.8 million) to start a therapeutic cancer vaccine trial.

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