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ImmuNogenomics TArgeting Cancer

Objective

Melanoma is the most aggressive, treatment-resistant and lethal type of skin cancer. Its increasing incidence worldwide emphasizes the need for new treatment strategies. Major recent breakthroughs in melanoma therapy have highlighted the role of immune T cell-mediated responses against tumor cells, showing that immune-system recognition of neo-antigens on cancer cells serves as a distinctive immunological signature. However, current strategies to identify neo-antigens are biased, costly and time-consuming. Directly addressing this major therapeutic limitation, this PoC project is aimed at commercializing an innovative tool, called INTACt, for designing highly personalized therapies for melanoma patients, ones that efficiently target the composition of patient-specific neo-antigens that arise as a consequence of mutations in a patient’s melanoma genome. INTACt is designed to identify neo-antigens in a high-throughput, systematic and cost-effective manner in cell lines, fresh tumors, patient-derived xenografts and plasma. INTACt will further identify the patient neo-antigen-reactive T cells to then be returned to the patient, using neo-antigen-specific T cells or RNA vaccines. Such personalized targeting of the patient’s melanoma genetic landscape is key to a significantly improved mortality. Unlike existing therapeutic strategies, INTACt may be considered the ultimate personalized immune therapy for the treatment of melanoma patients to be expended to other cancer types. This patient-specific tool will significantly lower patients’ economic and psychological burden caused by unnecessary chemotherapy and targeted therapy. INTACt also holds the promise of realizing value from enormous past investments in drug candidates that were eliminated due to person-specific toxicities or lack of efficacy as these can be combined with the neo-antigen-based immunotherapy. INTACt will thus enable the creation of new business models for the highly pressured pharmaceutical industry.

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/dermatology/melanoma
  • /social sciences/economics and business/business and management/business model
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/mutation
  • /social sciences/economics and business
  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/immunology/immunotherapy
  • /social sciences/sociology/demography/mortality
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/oncology/cancer
  • /natural sciences/biological sciences/genetics and heredity/genome
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/oncology/cancer/skin cancer
  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/pharmacology and pharmacy/pharmaceutical drug/vaccines

Call for proposal

ERC-2016-PoC
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-POC - Proof of Concept Grant

Host institution

WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
Address
Herzl Street 234
7610001 Rehovot
Israel
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 150 000

Beneficiaries (1)

WEIZMANN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE
Israel
EU contribution
€ 150 000
Address
Herzl Street 234
7610001 Rehovot
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments