Biotech says its vaccines target and kill cancer cells, with fewer side effects

By Flora Southey contact

- Last updated on GMT

GettyImages/selvanegra
GettyImages/selvanegra

Related tags: Immune system

OncoQR says its two-part therapeutic vaccines help the immune system to attack cancerous cells more effectively and with fewer side effects than conventional immunotherapies.

The Austrian biotech employs its Specific Total Immune Remodulation (S-TIR) platform to generate vaccines, which activate humoral and cellular immunological pathways to target and kill cancerous cells.

“This Active Checkpoint Control Immunotherapy (ACCI) is capable of activating all four available and evolutionary perfected tumour killing mechanisms in parallel,” ​the company said.

 “With our approach, the tumour has no more chance to escape the immune system – it is attacked from all possible sides at the same time,” ​said spokesperson Kathrin Szimak.

Industry first

Checkpoint inhibiting immunotherapies aim to boost the immune response against cancerous cells. However, conventional methods can trigger an immune response against non-cancerous cells, causing serious side effects.

According to Szimak, OncoQR ML is the first company to develop a technology which activates all immunological pathways, with fewer side effects than conventional methods.

“To our knowledge there is no other comparable platform available which is capable of triggering all four natural cancer killing pathways within the immune system,” ​she told us.

Warhead tech

The company said S-TIR-based vaccines are formed by linking a generic module ‘warhead’ – which boosts and determines the therapeutic effect of the drug  – and a disease-specific module ‘immunogen’ with high-affinity connectors.

“The warhead ensures specific delivery of the immunogen in a non-toxic manner to those cells that adjust and (re-) direct the patient’s immune response.”

 “The modular concept facilitates the simple combination of the warhead with different immunogens, resulting in multi-purpose cancer immunotherapies,” ​said the firm.

Biopharma benefits

According to CEO Christof Langer, biopharmaceutical firms using this technology will benefit from lower costs and shortened timelines.

“Our therapeutic vaccines are designed to have low cost of goods which is paired with a personalised low treatment frequency at low treatment dose,” ​he said.

“Developing S-TIR-based vaccines for new cancer targets up to ​in vivo proof-of-concept typically only takes 6 to 9 months,” ​said the firm.

Szimak told us S-TIR technology is scalable, and co-application with other current drug types, such as chemotherapy and checkpoint inhibitors, is possible.

“Our Active Checkpoint Control Immunotherapy is available for out-licensing either as a whole or on a target-by-target basis,” ​said the firm.

Related topics: Pipelines, Bio Developments, Cell lines

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